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es+ablisked 1901 

Delaware Valley 

Doylesfowrvy Pennsylvania 

Karen Ri+ie^ 
jAnaVea Velas 

Publication ^Advisor 

1JV. Ka^en Schramm 



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2003-2004 Cyleaner Staff 

/sJicolle. Slackmon 

Jessica l^andell 

Becki T^ubin 

Front Cover: jAndrea Velas 

CTnside Front Covef: Cn.ristine Ocnadlick 

CJnside 3ack (Sovei^: Dr. Karen Sckmmm 

3ack Cover: 3 ames ^' -Linden 

Special tkarvks to +ke yollowirvg: 

Dr. .Linda vMaisel for coordinating tne 
C\leaner "High ScKool Writing Competition 

A^rs. Sue "f"laldernar\ for ncr technical assistance 

AAr, Hank 3" 1 T~°X and T~ox 3indery, vUr\c for their time and generosity 

yVW\ 3arry Denlinqer and Xicjer Printing Cironp 

for their time c\v\a generosity 

KOMBIK TB?g§ $5¥S* 

before we grew up, 

they were warm and the sun shone down 

with a fierceness 

that tanned our shoulders 

and burned our noses. 

We never wore sunscreen 

like our mothers warned us to. 

Careless and carefree 

farm kids with callused feet 

and an endless summer freedom that seemed to stretch forever, 

after the days work was done. 

Running from the fields, with the afternoon sun throwing our shadows before us 

we'd splash into the creek 

and feel the cool mud slip between our toes. 

Granddad would bring watermelons 

and we would sit on the bank with our feet in the water 

and bite into the sweetest fruit we'd ever eaten. 

At least that's what it tasted like after a long day 

of planting. 

By the time we made it to the house 

on those hot afternoons 

our clothes would be dry from piling into the back of the truck 

and letting the summer breeze wash over us. 

Grandma would have dinner on the table 

but she'd be waiting at the door, 

making sure we wiped our feet and washed our hands 

before sitting down at her table. 

After dinner 

we'd go down to the blueberry bushes 

and pick baskets full 

To put on our ice cream. 

I remember blueberry lips 

and stained fingertips 

and I can still taste that sweet burst of flavor. 

It tasted like innocence, 

the innocence of our childhood 

Before we grew up. 

Shelby Watson- 

Mu SuJ^-Z-t B 


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The Gospel According to Hamlet 

My Uncle Earl was ninety- three years old the summer I got to know him. Me had lived in the same town 
his whole life. It was the little town my mother grew up in. It is located in Central Illinois and it is called 
Blue Mound. It is called Blue Mound, because of two little hills not far from the center of the town. The 
glaciers left the two mounds there in the Pleistocene ice age. Blue Mound was as far as the glaciers 
pushed south, plowing up rocks and dirt in front of their creeping advance. When everything is so flat 
and featureless, two little piles of stones and dirt are enough to name a town. 

My Uncle Earl had run the grain elevator in this town of 800 people for many years. lie had retired at 
age 58 and so he had been retired for 35 years when I started to visit with him. Me had become rich by 
running the grain elevator. I understood that a lot of people envied my uncle. For thirty-five years, he 
had lived a life that had been conspicuous because of a lack of work on his part. It is expensive cars, big 
houses, and celebrities that impress people in places like California. In Blue Mound, almost everyone 
has to work like a dog all their lives to scratch out a bare living. Someone who so obviously hadn't 
worked in three and a half decades stood out for admiration and for envy. 

I was thirteen years old at the time and I was stuck spending the summer in Blue Mound with my grand- 
mother. I had traveled out there by myself on the train from Philadelphia. That had been a big deal. It 
was a trip full of excitement and uncertainty. After three days in Blue Mound, I had been out to the fami- 
ly cemetery, to the old family farm, and to see the cannon at the center of town. Boring, boring, and 
boring. I had met my grandmother's friends and there was not one I wanted to spend time with again. 
They were all nice, but melancholy. All they talked about was the weather or some other potential catas- 
trophe. Farmers are never happy. It has either rained too much or too little or it may not rain for a 
while or it is too hot for the corn to tassel or it is too cool for the corn to grow. Let's not even go into 

The truth was that my visit was not very enjoyable for my grandmother either. From her standpoint, I 
had far too much "Eastern" upbringing. (To my grandmother, "Eastern" was a disease that began in Ohio 
and got worse the closer you got to the ocean.) To keep me entertained, she tried to pack a year's worth 
of activities (for a Blue Mound child) into the next few days, only to see me accomplish the following: 

Because I was crazy about baseball, my grandmother drove me down to an amusement center 
that had batting cages. I picked one to try. I got in the cage with my bat and helmet and quickly real- 
ized that the ball was coming in far too fast for my level of batting skill. I kept swinging way late. I was 
getting more and more frustrated. A young male voice behind me and outside the cages said, "Swing 
when it comes through the hole". He meant I should start my swing just as the machine released the 
ball. The voice was friendly and not critical. To emphasize his point, he started to say "swing" just as 
the machine flung the ball at me. I transferred my anger at myself to the voice. I turned and said, "If 
you can do any better, you get in here when it's your turn. Otherwise, shut up." My tone was not very 
cordial. When I got out of the cage without having hit a single ball, I saw my advisor. He was a boy 
about my age. He had two artificial arms. My grandmother was furious; she didn't believe me when I 
said I hadn't seen his arms before I spoke. 

Next, my grandmother took me to a town fair. It was pretty lame to me, with the new model trac- 
tors on display, prizes for the biggest melons ... One event was a cakewalk. When I asked what a cake- 
walk was, the answer was about raising money for the new firehouse. I watched the first one and real- 
ized it was musical chairs where the person who got the last chair won a cake. I paid a dollar of my own 
money and entered the next game. There were mostly kids my age or younger in the contest. I won the 
game by body blocking kids away from my chair of choice each time the music stopped. As I walked 
away with my prize, one farmer remarked to my grandmother, "He really must love cake." She must 
have been humiliated. 

A sixteen-year-old girl that my grandmother had often watched for her parents was in a softball 

tournament in Decatur. My grandmother took me along even though I told her I would rather watch the 
corn grow. But at the game, I enjoyed myself. The girls were a little awkward, but a couple of them 
were kind of cute. There were an amazing number of strange plays, like three runners ending up on the 
same base. One heavy-set girl on the other team was playing first base. She let a slow grounder go 
through her legs. 1 booed. Granny was horrified. Everyone in the stands turned and stared at me. She 
said to no one in particular, "Don't mind him, he is growing up in Philadelphia ". Some nodded and oth- 
ers just shook their heads. 

I told my mother that I wanted to come home when she called that week. She said it would take time to 
get used to a different style of living. I told her that I'd rather watch a Gomer Pyle marathon than stay in 
Blue Mound. She asked if I had seen Uncle Earl and I told her I had not. She suggested that I go see 
him and take the present that she had put in my luggage to give him. She cautioned me again that my 
Aunt May was not to see the present. I knew what the present was. It was a box of cigars. The smell 
from the present had permeated all the clothing in my luggage. It was not a smell that I liked. 

My grandmother called over to talk to Aunt May. The two elderly ladies agreed that I should go over that 
afternoon. Uncle Earl would have the Cubs game on the radio. That way, if I were too bored by Uncle 
Earl, I would have something to do. I just looked at my grandmother when she related this logic to me. 
If she thought that Uncle Earl was boring compared to the life that she led, I was doomed. She cau- 
tioned me to speak loudly because Uncle Earl was hard of hearing. If he fell asleep (as he often did), I 
could just come on back to my grandmother's house. 

At 2PM, I walked over to Uncle Earl's house. Aunt May met me at the door. I had already seen her four 
or five times during my visit and I was completely out of conversation to have with her. She told me to 
go out to the back porch where Uncle Earl was going to listen to the game. I carried the box of cigars 
under my shirt (on the side away from her) with my arm pinning the box against my side. I found my 
way back to the porch. 

A very old looking little man was sitting in a rocking chair. There was a table near by with a large radio 
on it. The little old guy was engaged in tuning the radio. He had a St. Louis Cardinal's baseball cap on. 
Remembering the advice I had gotten from my grandmother, I shouted at him, "Is the game on yet?" lie 
flinched a little and slowly turned his head in my direction. 

lie had on thick glasses that framed his nose and caused it to be his most prominent feature. The 
heavy lines on his face running along side the nose helped it to be the initial focus, lie had ears which 
were too big for his head and little wisps of white hair stuck out from under the baseball cap. But, the 
eyes were different. They were dark and lively and didn't seem at all like the tired eyes I was used to 
seeing in the elderly. 

He looked at me and said, "You don't have to try to raise the dead to talk to me. I'm not there yet." I 
was embarrassed. I mumbled something about what my grandmother had said about his hearing. He 
apparently heard every word of my mumbling. 

"I have that reputation. I don't do much to correct the impression with most people. It's one of the only 
advantages of being old. It's a way you can pretty much be left alone. If 1 don't like something someone 
is saying I either pretend not to hear or I fall asleep. I still have to listen to it, but I don't have to 
respond. Eventually they go off and bother someone else." 

I thought he might be including me in the bothering category. 1 asked if he wanted to be left alone now. 
He smiled. He still seemed to have a lot of his teeth. "I didn't mean you. At least I don't mean that 
yet." His smile got broader. "Besides, I suspect that under your shirt you either have your lunch or 
something for me." 

I told him it was a present from my mother. I took it out from under my shirt and handed it to him. The 
wrapping paper was a little damp from being under my shirt on a hot summer day. I hoped he wouldn't 

"Jeanie has always taken care of me." He looked at the doorway to see if Nay was coming as he took 
the present. He tore off the wrapping paper and held the box of cigars delicately in his hands like it was 
a fine antique. He leaned over and opened a door in the table that supported the radio. In the compart- 
ment inside 1 could see five or six boxes of cigars. "These are special," he said of the new box of cigars. 
"I'm going to save these until the Cardinals win the World Series this fall." 

"Don't hold your breath", I blurted out. "The Phillies are going to win this year." It was an outburst that 
didn't show much respect. But it was 1964 and the great Philadelphia collapse was still a couple months 
away. I had been hooked on baseball for a few years, but that year was already special to me. My dad 
had taken me to a Phillies game at Connie Mack stadium to see the Dodgers when his client had backed 
out at the last minute. Sandy Kofax had pitched a no hitter. I remember a beautiful blonde girl three 
rows in front of us (on the third base side) who kept saying, "Come on, Sandy" before each pitch he 
threw. In the first few innings, people were telling her to shut up (or worse). But by the eighth inning, it 
seemed to me that I was the only one rooting for the Phillies. I had considered that night to be a 
tragedy. However, Jim Bunning on Father's Day had pitched a perfect game that I had watched on TV. 
That had been a triumph. I felt in my heart that the Phillies were going to win the pennant. My Uncle did 
not share my enthusiasm. 

"riot enough pitching", he said about the Phillies. "That manager of yours will be flogging a dead horse 
by the end of August. The Cardinals put themselves in position to win by stealing Brock from the Cubs." 
He smiled at his double meaning. 

I heard the national anthem playing on the radio. I sat down in a chair directly across from Uncle Earl. 
Behind him I could see a bookcase. It was filled with notebooks that had labels that just said 1963, 
1962, 1961,... All the shelves were filled with these notebooks, nodding at the bookshelf I asked, 
"What's in those notebooks? Stuff from the grain elevator?" He smiled again. " Baseball statistics." 

"What are baseball statistics?" 

"It's a record of every game played by the Cubs, Cardinals, White Sox, and Reds over the last ten years. 
Things like batting averages of the players, runs scored, errors, runs batted in - things like that. In the 
off season, I compile the statistics and cross-reference all the key figures." 

"How do you get them?" I looked down. He had one of the notebooks in his lap and it was open to a 
baseball scorecard. 

"I keep them myself. I can get the games of four major league teams from here on the porch. At night, 
sometimes I can even get the Yankees. If I miss a game, I can use the box score in the paper to get 
most of what I need." He was writing as he spoke. It looked like he was filling out a lineup card. 

What followed was one of the most entertaining two-and-a-half hours I could ever remember having with 
an old person. He was twenty years older than May (and my grandmother), but his conversation and what 
he was interested in was much younger. As we listened to the game and kept score we would talk about 
trains, books I had read (I was reading Catcher in the Rye) and stamp collecting. He told me stories 
about my mother as a girl growing up in Blue Mound. Mainly, he told me stories about baseball and 
games he had seen. He predicted what each pitch of the game we were listening to would be and where 
it would be located before it was thrown. He called the pitches right most of the time. I couldn't believe 
how fast the game went by. I was sorry when it was over and I had to go back to my grandmother's 


I went over to see Uncle Earl almost every day after that. We listened to game after game on the radio. 
He wouldn't watch baseball when it was on TV. Me said that what the commentators said and what he 
saw were too different. Me would rather picture in his head what was going on. He was a master of 
rapid-fire baseball anecdotes. Me would jump decades in seconds, going from Rodger Connor to Chick 
Hafey to Louis Clark Brock to Frankie frisch and back to Bobby Wallace. He knew about a lot of teams 
and players, but we mostly talked about his beloved Cardinals. 

In a month, we must have listened to twenty games together. A lot of the games were Cubs games, 
because they were on during the afternoon. My grandmother started to get worried that 1 was spending 
too much time with Uncle Earl; that he was somehow corrupting me with his "strange ideas". But the 
only strange ideas 1 had heard up to that point, was that the players of 1964 couldn't hold a candle to 
Stan Musial or Rogers Hornsby or Cy Young. All except one. He put Bob Gibson in his own personal 
Cardinal Hall of Fame. Right in there with Enos Slaughter , "Uncle Robby" Robinson, and Mordecai 
"Three Fingers" Brown. 

One memorable discussion happened one Sunday afternoon between the games of a doubleheader. 
Uncle Earl had just finished a story about a Saturday afternoon when he had taken my mother and grand- 
father to see a University of Illinois football game. They had gone to see Red Grange play and had taken 
along a picnic lunch of fried chicken. He seemed to remember every play of the game, the color of the 

sky, the sound of the marching band everything. Then I remembered a question 1 had thought of 

that morning. I had spent an interminable morning in church sandwiched between my grandmother and 
Aunt May. It had occurred to me in the middle of the sermon that I had never seen Uncle Earl in church 
all summer. I asked him why he didn't go to church. 

He looked up from his scorecard. He had been tallying all the numbers from the first game. I thought 
he winked at me. "I go to church with May four or five times a year. That keeps her happy. For me, 
these days there are more minuses to going to church than plusses. The benches are so hard that my 
back hurts for three days afterwards. And then there are the hymns. Can you sing any of the hymns? 
Just who decides what key those hymns are in? They are in a key that my voice can't find. And there is 
always someone sitting right behind you who wants to show off the operatic skill they never got to use 
except on a tractor." He paused and looked down at his notebook. " There are some things 1 still like 
about going. It brings back good memories. I can remember sitting between my father and mother on 
hot summer days, people waving fans, the buzz of insects, my mother whispering to me to stop fidgeting, 
the commanding voice of the minister first threatening eternal damnation and then in a warm voice offer- 
ing the good news." He paused and then closed his notebook. " But four times a year is more than 
enough for me now." 

"Aren't you afraid of what is going to happen to you if you don't go?" My grandmother had been using 
this as a way to get me to church on Sunday. 

"You mean after I die?" I nodded. 

"You are not going to get into heaven based on the number of times you go to church. God is not an 
attendance taker. I can contemplate God here on the porch as I listen to the baseball game. In fact, I 
often do. I think God must like this game; it's so elegant. 

1 don't need a minister's help to worship God. I've seen ministers come and go at that church. There 
have been twelve since your Aunt May and I got married there. They either died or moved on to more 
prosperous congregations. They all had two things in common: they all thought I wasn't giving enough 
money to the church and they knew that they held the key to my salvation. Each one was cocksure 
about answers to questions that any intelligent man should at least have some doubts about. Their 
answers to the real tricky questions were always the same. 'Take it on faith; there are some things 

beyond our reason.' " He shook his head. "Don't question anything and take it on faith. I'd expect that 
kind of logic from an insurance salesman, but I want a more from my religion. It's good to ask questions 
about why something is the way it is. I don't know how God got to be all knowing without asking ques- 
tions. Maybe he asks them through us. In my opinion, as long as you believe in something that has a 
positive effect on your life and those you love you'll be as saved as anybody else whether you go to 
church or not." 

This was news to me. He must have seen the look on my face because he raised a bony hand and put it 
on my shoulder. "I'm an opinionated old man. Your grandmother says so all the time. You make up 
your own mind, but you be the one to make up your mind. You decide for yourself. In the end, if you 
have lived the best life you can, I don't think it matters whether you are a Christian, a Jew or a Buddhist. 

You be like your grandfather. Finest man I ever knew. I always wanted to be like him. During the 
depression, he kept giving the farmers here more and more credit at the store. It ruined him financially. 
Your mother's first husband had been a lineman for the Rams. Years before he went off to the war and 
got himself killed in Italy, he had offered to go around and collect money owed to your grandfather, but 
your grandfather wouldn't hear of it. He said his neighbors were in enough trouble and he wouldn't 
make matters worse for them. The ministers at church can say 'love thy neighbor' all they want, but 
there was a man who lived it." 

My head was swimming. I didn't know my mother had been married and then a widow because of World 
War Two. I was aware that my grandfather had owned a store, but I had no idea he had "lost" it. Over 
the next week, Uncle Earl supplied details of a family history he was in a unique position to talk about. 

Then it was August, and suddenly it was time for me to go home. I went over to see Uncle Earl for the 
last time on the back porch. I sat there with a glass of lemonade while the Cubs were playing. I told 
Uncle Earl that I had really enjoyed spending time with him. He said that I was the best thing that had 
come along that summer with the possible exception of Lou Brock. He thanked me for all my help with 
the scoring and running little errands for him. He told me that he hoped he could help me when I got to 
his age. I told Uncle Earl that I would look forward to that, but he would be 173 years old at that point. 
"So what?" he said. " I have a theory that if you can live long enough, your body says, 'You win.' And you 
start to get younger. I hope to be the first to prove my theory." 

I asked him how he got this idea and he said it was interpreted from Shakespeare. "If I prove the theory, 
I'll either drop out of sight to keep the doctors from dissecting me to see how I did it or I'll start a new 
religion. My good book for the new religion will be Shakespeare. Lots to choose from there. My first 
sermon will be from the book of Hamlet: 'Hell is empty, And all the devils are here.' I should use that 
one the next time May's second cousin comes to visit." 

I left for home by train that afternoon. My mother met me the next day at the station. One of her first 
questions for me on the car ride home was the one she always used when I got home from school. She 
asked if I had learned anything. 

My first thought was of Uncle Earl. I told her that being old might not be as bad as I thought it would be. 
Especially if you had a mind that worked like Uncle Earl's. I said I hoped that I had inherited the same 
genes that he had. 

My mother looked at me and laughed a little. "I'm sorry to tell you this baby, but you are related to 
Uncle Earl by marriage. You are related to Aunt May by blood. She is you Grandmother's sister." I was 
crushed. And I felt stupid. I had known that Grandmother and May were sisters. Since we weren't 
English nobility I should have figured out that Uncle Earl couldn't be a blood relative. 

My mother laughed at the look on my face. "It is Uncle Earl's curiosity and intelligence that have always 


attracted me. He is a little blunt and says what he feels. Me hurts some people's feelings when he really 
shouldn't. But he is always ready to dig into something and examine it from all sides, fie puts a lot of 
energy into everything he does. It's this attitude 1 think you liked. You can carry an attitude like that 
with you no matter how old you get." 

I only talked to Uncle Earl once more after 1 left Illinois. He called our house right after the Cardinals 
won the pennant that fall. I only talked to him for a few seconds. I was so heartbroken by the Phillies 
that 1 didn't want to talk about baseball. My mother tried to apologize for me, but Uncle Earl said he 
wouldn't want to talk to me if his Cardinals had collapsed like that. I could hear him laughing over the 

1 regretted my petulance for years. Earl died three days later. He went quickly. He died just as his 
Cardinals were about to have a wonderful World Series against the Yankees. My mother was pretty heart- 
broken. Earl had been like a second father to her. 1 tried to think of something to make her feel better. 
I remembered the story about Red Grange and I reminded her of this. She looked at me through her 
tears and smiled a little. She said, "Do you know why I made your father buy a house in Abington when 
we moved to Philadelphia from Illinois?" I shook my head. "Because the mascot of Abington High 
School is a Galloping Ghost. After Red Grange." 

The death had an effect on me. 1 had been thinking about God and death for weeks. Was Uncle Earl's 
death a sign? Was God punishing him for his lack of attendance at church or his lack of traditional faith? 
What kind of God would take him so close to something he was clearly living for? I didn't have any 

Four months later three boxes arrived. They were filled with Uncle Earl's notebooks on baseball. Uncle 
Earl had told May that he was changing his will a couple days after I left. This put May into a tizzy 
because she thought Earl capable of doing very strange things. She refused to call the lawyer for two 
weeks. But, all Earl wanted to do was to make sure that 1 got the baseball books and that May did not 
throw them out. Over the years, I liked to browse through the books when I had time to kill. 

As I got older, I developed a habit of not taking anything on face value. I questioned everything. My 
mother was happy about this unless I was questioning something that she had just said. When she said I 
was becoming like Uncle Earl, 1 would tell her it was a learned behavior; she couldn't blame genetics. 1 
also developed a love for Shakespeare although this didn't happen until late in high school. I took a 
Shakespeare elective at Georgia Tech. It was a sure "A". At our school a maximum of three engineering 
students signed up for this course and the teacher was grateful that anyone showed up at all. I didn't 
miss a class. You haven't heard anything until you hear a young female professor from Alabama read 
The Bard in a heavy southern accent. It was during her reading of Hamlet that I heard something that 
struck a chord in the back of my mind. It was meant as an insult, but 1 thought of Earl. It went: "You 
yourself, sir, shall grow old as I am if like a crab you could go backward." That was probably the inspira- 
tion for the longevity theory he had talked about. It would have made a great second sermon. 

-Larry Stelmach- 




Ah! So poignant are our Autumn days, 

When trees shed red and yellow and orange tears, 

And shiver to think of Winter's rule, 

Albino beauty, cold, austere. 

Each twig bears a golden nugget small, 

Waiting dormant for warming rays, 

'Til those dear little buds change to sweet sticky leaves 

and the trees blossom forth in leafy sprays! 

12 > 

TffE CM1 

She sat and watched the rain as it ran down the windowpane in little rivers. Behind her 
she could hear him getting ready. His morning sounds blended together into one soothing sym- 
phony that wrapped around her like an old flannel blanket. She smiled to herself and fell back- 
wards onto the bed into the pile of mussed up sheets and pillows that still smelled faintly of 
their love, his cologne, and the Bounty sheets from yesterday's laundry. These cool fall morn- 
ings were her favorite, when she could cuddle and watch him get ready for work. Warm, safe, 
and satisfied in her bed, she would watch him move around. Pulling up jeans and putting on 
shirts, he'd wink at her from time to time, and she'd smile a sleepy smile as they talked about 
the coming day. 

Hearing the water shut off brought her back from her reverie and she turned to see him 
come out of the bathroom. Wearing nothing but a white terrycloth towel he presented a tempt- 
ing picture, and she smiled and bit her lip as he moved across the room. "Hey, baby, sure you 
really want to go to work?" she asked coyly as he opened the dresser drawer. He shot her a grin 
over his shoulder. 

"Oh, honey, you wouldn't be trying to seduce me now, would you?" "That's right, cowboy, I 
would be," she answered. 

"Well, then hold that thought, darlin', and when I get home from work we'll start from where we 
left off." He gave her another wicked smile and pulled a well-worn pair of jeans out of the draw- 

As he got dressed she cast another glance out the window. "Think it'll rain all day, hon?" 
He followed her gaze and nodded grimly. "Yea, probably." neither one of them said anything in 
the silence that followed but they were both thinking the same thing. If too much more rain fell 
the fields would flood, and there would go all their money for the season. For a moment she 
shut her eyes and sighed. If it wasn't for Ethan's construction job, they'd never be able to keep 
the farm. One bad year after another and the falling markets had taken their toll on the area 
farmers, and she knew that although they were struggling, they were the lucky ones because her 
husband had his other job. Some of her friends weren't so lucky. Shaking her head, she 
climbed out of bed and headed to the bathroom. 

A few minutes later she handed Ethan his lunch and gave him a quick kiss as he headed 
out the door. Going into the kitchen she pulled down two bowls and some cereal from the cabi- 
nets, and then headed towards the stairs. "Conner," she called as she climbed the steps, "time 
to get up, sweetie." Mornings always presented a challenge when it came to the youngest mem- 


ber of the household, who liked his sleep just a little too much. Entering the bedroom, though, 
she had to grin. Sprawled across the bed with the blankets strewn everywhere lay Conner sleep- I 
ing with his mouth wide open and emitting small childish snores. For a moment she just stood 
and watched him. Her precious nephew. He looked just like his mother, blond tousled hair, fair 
skin, and a sprinkling of freckles across the bridge of his nose. She remembered when her sis- 
ter had complained about those freckles incessantly. "They make my nose look big, Ab, I 
swear!" she'd say as she peered into the mirror with a hopeless expression on her face. Abby 
would laugh and push her out of the way. "Mike thinks they're cute," she'd remind her sister. 
"Yeah he does, doesn't he?" she'd say a little brighter as she brushed out her long blond hair. 

Looking at Conner now she thought she could see some of Mike in him as well, although 
it was most evident in the little boy's demeanor. Fiercely determined once he set his mind on 
things, he had Mike's drive. If only he could be driven to get up in the mornings, she thought 
wryly as she looked at the clock on the dresser and began pulling out his clothes for the day. 
Ten minutes later she was pouring milk for the still sleepy little boy that sat across from her at 
the table, and twenty minutes later she shifted the old Ford truck into gear and headed towards 
the main road. Stopping for a moment at the end of the driveway, she pulled out some 
envelopes and put them in the mailbox. 

"What are those, Mommy?" Conner asked as he fiddled with something in his book bag. "Oh 
nothing, babe, just some bills," she answered as she pulled out onto the road. Bills that she 
and Ethan had sweated and prayed over last night as they sat at the kitchen table and listened 
to the rain pounding down overhead. They had managed to come out on top this time, although 
not by much. Shaking her head, she banished those negative thoughts and said to Conner, "So, 
buddy, how many days to go 'til the big day?" For the past month he'd been counting down the 
days until his sixth birthday, and every morning he reminded her and Ethan of just how many he 
had to go. "Eleven," he proudly announced as he gave her a huge grin. "And grandma's making 
the cake, right?" "She sure is, maybe tonight you should call and tell her what kind you'd like." 
"Chocolate!" he said, his eyes lighting up with anticipation. "Sounds good to me," she said as 
she patted him on the knee. 

As they sat there waiting for the big yellow bus that would cart Conner off to school, Abby 
found herself watching him and wondering. Wondering what it would have been like of her sis- 
ter was still here. The night that Mike and Sara had decided to drive to a bed and breakfast in 
the next town for a little weekend getaway was the night that Abby's whole world fell apart. The 
night she got the call. She still remembered everything she was doing when the phone rang. 
Elected babysitter for the weekend, she had just put Conner down to bed, and she was cleaning 
the kitchen and crooning to Patsy Kline when she heard the phone ring. Running to turn down 
the radio, she was out of breath by the time she reached the phone. Catching the number on 
the caller ID, she called, "Hey, Ma, how was the dinner?" as she picked up the phone. Her par- 
ents had gone to a birthday dinner for one of their friends that night, which was why she had 
gotten stuck with babysitting. Hot that she minded. Her little nephew was an angel, and she 


loved to watch him. "Mom?" she asked, as she smacked the phone. She couldn't hear anything 
and sometimes the phone acted weird. "Mom, you there?" She heard a muffled noise, and 
then her father came on the line. "Ab, honey, can you hear me?" His voice was tense and 
strained. "Dad, what's wrong? What's going on?" Abby said as fear started to creep into her 
veins. "We're at the hospital. Abby..." he paused and she clenched the phone tightly. "It's Sara 
and Mike... they've... they were in an accident." She froze at the words. "Accident, but they were 
just fine an hour ago," she protested, not wanting to believe it. Then her senses came rushing 
back to her. "Wait, what hospital, I'm coming, let me wake up Conner, I'll be there in-" "Ab" "- 
ten minutes. Tell Sara I'm com-" "Ab!" her father's voice rose and then broke. She stopped 
mid-sentence, "Honey, there's no reason to come up here, Sara and Mike... they... well, they did- 
n't make it, baby." She went numb. "What, of course they made it... what do you mean they 
didn't make it! They're fine, they're going to be fine, right? Right, Daddy?!" Her voice rose hys- 
terically, and on the other end her father sobbed. "They're dead, baby, they're dead." Suddenly 
the room started to spin and then Abby felt herself sliding onto the cold linoleum floor. "Dead?" 
she whispered unbelievingly. "Listen," her father took a deep breath, "we're leaving the hospital 
now, we're coming to your house. Just, just hang in there, we're on our way." The phone went 
dead in her hand. She slowly brought it down and stared at it. This couldn't be happening. 
She blinked a couple times, and then it hit her. When her parents came in they found her on 
the floor curled up in a little ball, crying her heart out. 

The funeral and the first couple weeks after the accident were still mostly a blur for her, 
but she knew that throughout it all Ethan was at her side. Without him she knew that she 
wouldn't have survived. Engaged at the time, their wedding was only two months away when 
Mike and Sara died. But Abby couldn't stand the thought of a big wedding now that her sister 
wasn't there to be her maid of honor, so they were married in a quiet ceremony with just a few 
family members at the little church that both had attended since childhood. It was a bittersweet 
day, and they had decided to postpone their honeymoon for a while, since neither one of them 
had felt like leaving town right then. They spend their wedding night quietly at home, in her 
house. They had decided that that's where they would live, since Ethan's house was smaller. It 
was also the night they decided to adopt Conner. The orphaned four-month-old had been living 
between Abby's house and her mother's since the accident. Knowing this couldn't go on much 
longer they had made a decision, they would raise Conner as their own. 

Plow as Abby watched him board the bus she thanked God for the millionth time that he 
was theirs. After giving him one last wave she pulled a u-turn and headed back to the house. 
As she climbed out of the cab she spotted Ryan, the college student that Ethan had hired to 
help around the farm part-time. Right now part-time help was all they could afford. Giving him 
a wave she bounded lightly up the porch steps and into the house. 

Three hours later she'd accomplished most of the morning's tasks that she'd planned for 
herself, and was sitting down for a quick cup of tea when she got the call. It was Connor's 
school. Two minutes later she burst through the front door and flew over the steps. "Ry!" she 


screamed, "Ryan!" He appeared in the doorway of the barn. "Get Ethan, go get Ethan!" she 
yelled as she flung open the truck door. "It's Conner!" 

The ride to the hospital was a terrified blur. All she could think was please let him be 
okay, don't do this to me again. When she ran through the door of the waiting room, Conner's 
teacher jumped up to meet her. The next couple of minutes were a jumbled chaos of nurses, 
technicians, and mumbled medical terms. None of it made sense but she wasn't really listen- 
ing, she just wanted to see her son. 

When Ethan appeared a few minutes later the doctor finally walked in, and then ushered 
them into a separate and private room. "What's going on? Where's Conner? I want to see my 
son!" she demanded as he closed the door and turned to them. "As soon as 1 can, I promise 
you Mrs. Lane, I'll take you to your son. But first, please have a seat, there's a few things we 
need to discuss. First of all, my name is Dr. Bryant, and I'll be the one taking care of Conner 
from now on," the doctor said as he settled into the chair on the other side of his desk. "Now 
I've already contacted his primary care physician, Dr. Cole, and his secretary is faxing us 
Conner's records as we speak. Before we go any further, however, let me assure that right now 
your son is fine. We have him stabilized and we gave him a small amount of sedative to let him 
rest. So right now he's sleeping comfortably." 

"But what happened, Doc? They told us he collapsed on the playground. Just collapsed!" 
Ethan's voice was strained with worry. The doctor sighed. He hated having to give bad news. 
Leaning across the desk, he softened his tone and looked them both in the eye. "I'm sorry to 
have to tell you this... but according to the CAT scans we took it appears that Conner has a small 
mass on the top of his spinal cord. We believe that this is what caused his collapse. A mass 
the size of his can exert enough pressure on the nerves on and around the spinal cord to cause 
temporary paralysis." 

"Wait, just wait!" First you tell us Conner has a tumor, and now you're saying he's para- 
lyzed!" Ethan's voice rose as Abby sat shocked at what they had been told. "No, Mr. Lane, the 
paralysis was only temporary, it's gone for right now." "For right now? So what does this mean, 
it'll come back!?" Ethan demanded. Abby let out a small gasp. 

"Unfortunately, Mrs. Lane, a condition like his often has no symptoms until it grows to a 
certain size. Unless for some other reason, like a head injury, Conner was supposed to be x- 
rayed, this is by no means your pediatrician's fault. There's really no way he could have known 
it to be there without a CAT scan or MRI." 

For the next twenty minutes the couple sat and listened to the doctor describe the fate of 
their little boy. Later they sat beside Conner's bed for hours, holding his hand and watching tel- 
evision with him. Doing anything they could to distract him and trying to stay upbeat so as not 
to scare him any more than he already was. When Abby's parents arrived they brought coloring 
books and toys for Conner. So while Ethan entertained him, Abby took her parents out into the 
hall and told them everything. 

They took it pretty much as she expected. Her father was the one to put his big safe arms 


around Abby and her teary-eyed mother, and tell them it was going to be alright. Her father had 
always been the strong one. 

Later that night after Abby's parents had left and Conner was asleep, the young couple sat 
exhausted in one of the green hospital chairs. Heads together, with her on his lap, they sat 
silent, until Ethan finally whispered, "It's gonna be okay, baby, they're going to take care of him. 
We'll get through this, it's gonna be fine." Shutting her eyes with her head on his shoulder, she 
could only hope that he was right. A few minutes later they were both asleep. 

The next afternoon they stood with the doctor in the hallway outside of Conner's room. 
They held hands tightly as he explained what was really their only option, surgery. "In order to 
relieve the pressure, we're going to have to remove the mass," he said as he watched them 
carefully. Abby looked at Ethan and then at him, "But isn't that risky? 1 mean, I've heard that 
surgery near your spinal cord can be really dangerous." 

"Unfortunately, yes, I'm not going to deceive you, it is a tricky procedure. However, in Conner's 
case the tumor is positioned where it should detach relatively easily. And... Mr. and Mrs. 
Lane... without removing the tumor, there is a seventy-five percent chance that within the next 
year it will cause full paralysis from the neck down." The doctor paused for a moment and then 
said, "I'm sorry." 

The two of them held a silent conversation with their eyes. When Abby turned to him he 
could tell by her expression that they'd decided to go along with the operation. She took a 
deep breath and looked him straight in the eye, "Will you take good care of my little boy?" 
"Absolutely," he replied firmly. "Then let's do it." 

Two days later they stood in the hallway and watched Conner being wheeled away to sur- 
gery. They had spent the morning playing with him and talking to him about what was going to 
happen. Abby had told him that, "he was going to go to sleep for a while, and that the doctor 
was going to make him all better." When Conner said he was scared it would hurt, Ethan 
assured him that he would sleep through everything and that when he woke up, "Mommy and 
Daddy would be right beside him." After talking for a while he seemed to accept it, and he even 
asked if when he woke up from his "nap" he could have the ice cream Grandpa had promised 
him. They had laughed and Abby told him, "Of course, honey, as soon as the doctor says it's 
okay." And with that he was satisfied. But Abby had to fight down tears as she watched the 
swinging doors close around him and his entourage of doctors and nurses. Ethan held her for a 
moment, and they both drew strength from each other. Then he took her hand, and led her to 
the waiting room where all their friends and family were gathered, offering their love and sup- 

Three hours later the waiting room was filled with empty soda cans and discarded candy 
bar wrappers, and the family was clumped in little groups around the room, everyone talking in 
low tones and glancing towards the door every few minutes. Abby sat on the couch next to her 
mother watching Ethan pace the floor. "Dammit, what's taking so long!" he growled, striding 
past the coke machine and then turning back. "It's been more than three hours and they said it 


wouldn't take longer than two!" Abby's father stood up from his chair, and putting an arm 
around Ethan, he led him over to the other side of the room and attempted to calm him down. 
Watching her father and husband, Abby couldn't help but wonder, why? Why was this family 
always hurting and waiting, praying for things to turn out okay? When Abby's sister and brother- 
in-law had died she had thought that it was the worst possible thing that could happen, but now 
that she faced losing their little boy, the one who was now her son, she knew that no matter 
how bad things were, they could always get worse. Suddenly she sat up straight on the couch. 
A new thought had just occurred to her. How were they going to pay for these hospital bills? 
The doctor hadn't mentioned any costs, and they had been far too worried to ask. She bit her 
lip. She knew that Ethan's construction job only gave him and their family partial benefits, and 
with the way the crops had been this year there wasn't much extra money to go around. What 
would they do? Well, she thought, we'll just mortgage the house again. We'll borrow against the 
bank, we'll do whatever it takes. Things will be okay, she told herself silently, they just will be. 

Abby was jolted back from her thoughts when she realized that the entire room had sud- 
denly gone quiet. She looked up. Everyone was frozen, looking towards the door. Through the 
small plate glass window Abby saw the figure of the doctor approaching. For a moment ice ran 
through her veins, and then she whispered, "Ethan." He was by her side in an instant, crossing 
the room it seemed without even touching the floor. They held each other and rose as one 
when the doctor entered the room. Time seemed to stop. And then the doctor smiled. Abby's 
knees went weak, and she started to cry tears of joy and relief as Dr. Bryant began to speak. "It 
went well," he said, as he took off his surgical cap and gown, "Although it took a little bit longer 
than we expected, we got it all. Every tiny piece of his tumor is gone, and right now he's resting 
in recovery. In about," the doctor glanced at his watch, "twenty minutes I'll have one of the 
nurses take you back to see him. By then the anesthesia will be starting to wear off. We'll let 
him wake up for a little bit, long enough for the three of you to see each other, but then I'll have 
to give him another sedative. Right now what he needs is rest, but by that time he'll be in his 
own room and the two of you can stay with him if you like." 

The doctor has barely finished speaking when Abby broke away from Ethan and gave him 
a big hug. Holding him tightly she whispered her thanks, he had saved her little boy. Right now 
that was the only thing that mattered, riot the bills, or the crops, or the farm. The only thing 
that mattered was Conner, and Conner was going to be okay. 


L2/)ear r 


In this solemn time of sorrow, 

We all have certain memories that remind us 

Of your stay among us as you traversed this earth: 

How you enjoyed crafting. 

And filling us with delicious food; 

How you hung your picture plates with care, 

And knew which decorative touches were just right; 

How you served in the Christian San for so many years, 

And touched so many hearts with your two hands, 

As well as with your gracious smile; 

How you loved your pink carnations, 

And always knew how to arrange them best; 

How you liked to watch the birds that came to the feeder, 

And took the time to mention the fall foliage, 

So that we would pause in our mad rushing, 

And look around us as we had our baakie. 

You had so many simple gifts; 

You taught us so many things. 

And as we look back with rose tinted glasses 

On some of your traits which we never took the time to appreciate, 

We remember that we all falter; 

Yet, we love you still- - 

And that love can never die. 

For although we miss your earthly presence among us, 

We cannot begrudge the Creator your voice, 

Which has joined the chorus that sings His praises. 

Ah, but how do we let you go? 

We never said good-bye 

Before you fell asleep... 

And peacefully slipped away, 

On a beautiful Sabbath morn, 

To the One Who spoke to your soul 

As you waited patiently in your wheelchair 

For Him to take you home, 

And free you from your tired body. 

The silver cord has been loosed, 

The golden bowl has been broken, 

By the Potter's loving hand. 

We wait for faith and family. 

Trust and time, 

To begin to heal our hearts. 

We ask that God's grace 

Would comfort those left behind. 

For 'tis of His mercy, 

And that alone, 

That He allows us to keep your memory alive. 

We believe that your body merely slumbers, 

While your soul lives in the land above, 

And the semblance of your spirit remains with us. 

In the time left us, 

We shall with renewed fervor, 

Storm Heaven's gate 

That we might spend eternity with you in God's glory. 

And on the great Day of Days, 

When you arise 

To enter the Holy City, 

Remember us, 
As we remember you. 

-Janelle A. Van Zweden- 



Inside the appearance of this mundane soul 

Is a warrior of integrity, a kind sir. 

Tenacious and assiduous is this man 

To fulfill his duties and goals. 

His strength is seen through his diligent work. 

Strong, also, is his will to help others rather than himself. 

Selfless acts surround his merciful spirit. 

nature is seen in his intrepid heart. 

He wants nothing to do with man's destruction of God's earth. 

Disdain he has for deleterious drugs. 

Though, he is not the leader of discipline, 

More so, a child of benevolence. 

A tactful man is he, who will not scrutinize. 

He would rather listen and learn from you. 

Laughter lies in his long-lasting life, 

He brightens my day with every smile. 

He gives me hope and courage. 

There is no better word than Hero to explain my father. 

I follow his thoughts and beliefs. 

For I understand him better than anyone else. 

He is, and always will remain, my Light of Inspiration. 

(Tigris Ocliacilic^ 

''(S^ere Kas i\[Q Time Gone?" 

In a few short months my daughter will be ten years old. As I watch her play, the sad and 
often spoken litany of all parents echoes through my mind, "Where has the time gone?" Wasn't 
it only yesterday I brought her home from the hospital? It was yesterday, almost ten years' 
worth of yesterdays. 

In those ten years, as I've watched her grow physically, mentally and emotionally, I have 
felt her subtle, yet powerful influence on my own life. If nothing else, she has taught me the 
fine art and virtue of patience, a trait I sorely lacked prior to her arrival. She is also responsible, 
in part, for the fulfillment of a lifelong dream of becoming a writer. She is a constant joy and 
her presence in my life is impossible to describe. What she has given to me cannot be 
expressed in mere words. 

I have found it to be true that one sees life differently through a child's eyes. You relive 
some of those times you forgot, as a child and somewhere, deep inside, you instinctively know 
that you reacted in much the same way as your child does now. I remember thinking, after 
bringing her home from the hospital that the 2 a.m. feedings and the "crying hour" would never 
end. Looking back, I'm hard pressed to remember either. Somewhere along the way I blinked 
and here I am almost 10 years later. 

Like all children, she is unique, and apart from many children, she is an only child. 
Already I see heads shaking in sadness and hear many of you saying, "She should have a broth- 
er or sister." Unfortunately, we all think we know what's good for other people so before you 
hastily pass judgment read on. 

To many, the phrase "only child" goes hand in hand with being spoiled; many years ago 
but not today. In retrospect, I've known families with several siblings where one or more are 
spoiled. So stereotyping "only" children as spoiled is an invalid assumption. 

I have made it a point not to spoil her nor allow anyone else to spoil her. I think "only" 
children have it tougher than families with several children because the parents only have one 
chance to do it right. There will be no further experiments to test other theories at a later date; 
this is it. 

My daughter has asked on several occasions why she does not have a brother or sister. 
Her father and I have done our best to explain why and she has accepted our explanation with 
grace and wisdom far exceeding her years. 

Raising a child or children is not an easy job and I've begun to explain to my daughter 
that being a parent is one of the most difficult jobs anyone can undertake. What I have found 
myself doing is using the following analogy. I explain that whenever we purchase a major appli- 
ance, be it a TV, VCR, computer, etc. it always comes with an owner's manual. No such manual 
accompanies a newborn baby. And yet, the most important occurrence in the lifecycle, the 


birth of a child, should be accompanied with an owner's manual, or at least some sort of gener- 
al guide. (I explained this analogy to a friend who made an astute observation by saying that 
the manual would be so large, it would be impossible to comprehend). 

At the moment, my daughter stands at the threshold of adolescence. It's a threshold I do 
not want her to cross, not just yet. But then, 1 think, when would be a good time? Never I say. 
But time marches inexplicably on and children grow up. I sense in her now a pulling away from 
me. A pulling away that is a normal part of life but it doesn't make me feel any better or happi- 
er. I know this is how things must be. The next decade will pass by even faster and before 1 
know it she will be 20 and again 1 will hear myself say, "Where has all the time gone?" 

1 have two wishes for my daughter. First, that she lives a long, healthy and happy life and 
second, she never has to take care of me or her father in our old age. It is not fair to saddle the 
young with the old. She did not ask to be put on this earth, her father and 1 chose to have her 
and as such, her only debt to us is to live, with Qod's help, a long, healthy and happy life. If 
she achieves this, then we will consider our job as parents well done. 

Kalil Qibran, philosopher and author of "The Prophet," could not have put it more elo- 
quently when he wrote: 

"Your children are not your children. 

They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself. 

They come through you but not from you, 

And though they are with you yet they belong not to you. 

You may give them your love but not your thoughts, 

for they have their own thoughts. 

You may house their bodies but not their souls, 

for their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, 

which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams. 

You may strive to be like them, but not seek to 

make them like you. 

For life does not go backward nor tarries with yesterday. 

You are the bows from which your children as 

living arrows are sent forth..." 

Lauren has taught me a great deal and through her I've learned we must cherish our chil- 
dren and covet the time we spend with them because, all too soon, we will hear ourselves say, 
"Where Has the Time Gone?" 

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e ^yeu/na/ut 

Smoke on the Water 

The scent of you is blissfully intoxicating 

Every time 1 breathe you in 

My body, mind, and heart come alive 

Your eyes are like liquid fire 

Every time I am held there 

The fire envelops me 

Your touch is like the first winter's chill 

Invigorating and filled with anticipation 

My core is thrilled beyond perception 

With lips so soft, gentle and inviting 

You beckon me in to your supple world 

An utterly irresistible temptation draws me nearer 

With heart-racing magnetism we meet 
The fire, the thrill, the new world... 

Eyes closed to see the full experience 

Your hands lightly stroke my neck, back, and sides 

Our lips apart, moving so fluidly and gently 

The world fades into the mist when I'm with you 

If I wanted to, I could soar amongst the clouds 

All my troubles and woes float away as smoke on the water 


kKo+o by james 1R.. Linden 

PKo+o by ]\Aon\ca PerW 

Pkoto by iSkcis OekadlicU 


, !!>'- 






Have you ever watched. 

The ocean? 

Have you ever seen, 

It change? 
Have you ever felt. 

Its anger? 
Have you ever seen, 

Its rage? 
Have you ever seen, 

It sparkle? 

Have you ever seen, 

It dance? 

Did you see, 

It from a distance? 

Did you see. 

It at first glance? 

Next time, 

Watch the ocean, 

If you ever have the chance. 

Watch every change, 

That happens. 

And every ripple dance. 

eMt» ocl<At>t:c» 

Decorating magazines like "House Beautiful," "Country Living," and "Mary Englebreit's 
Home Companion" fascinate me. In every issue I wander vicariously through beautiful four 
color page spreads of picture perfect homes. Homes I would love to live in but not necessarily 
love to clean. These very same magazines also showcase new tools, gadgets, and appliances. 

KitchenAid® recently launched a new design concept in dishwashers that allows customers to 
select their own color, interior feature package, door style and console. Using their concept, I 
think I've designed the ultimate in dishwashers called SUDs. 

SUDS are Sport Utility Dishwashers. Yes, you've read correctly, Sport Utility Dishwashers. 
Using SUV manufacturers' marketing mantras of building bigger and more powerful, why not 
dishwashers' employing the very same design features as those gas-guzzling behemoths? 

Not for the faint of heart or light of wallet, only the finest components manufactured by 
the best companies will be used. Top of the list is a Bose Acoustic Wave® Music System which 
enables customers to partake of the full dish washing experience. Upgrading to an MP3 player 
allows customers to download alternate dishwasher wave files or wash tones. Standard on the 
SUD is a CD-RW that allows you to burn the sudsy sounds to CD. 

Powering this top of the line dishwasher is a 6.0L Power Stroke V8 Turbo Diesel with 33 
wash cycles per gallon for city kitchen installations and 62 wash cycles per gallon for country 
kitchen installations. With a warp speed power wash cycle like those found in most car washes, 
stubborn food stains are pummeled into their molecular components and compacted into neat 
little pellets for gardening fanatics. While this dishwasher obviously is not Energy Star 
Compliant it is environmentally friendly. 

With 640 custom front panel options, consumers' choices-tire limited only by their imagination. 
I'm placing an order for two panels. The first is a red Ferrari with camel color leather interior. 
This allows me to have the car without shelling out the cash for the "real thing. Why a red 
Ferrari? I love fast cars and I keep seeing the image of a blind Al Pacino, in the movie, "Scent 
of a Woman," driving recklessly through the streets of New York at 120 mph. With this panel it 
becomes the only dishwasher on the market with the ability to wash dishes as fast as you can 


drive. My second choice will be the front end of an H2 Mummer. I can't decide whether to get 
the Sunset Orange Metallic or the Sage Green Metallic (by the way, actual Hummer colors) for 
those days when I'm in a "go ahead and make my day" dishwashing mood. 

Mot up to designing your own SUD? Then try a Designer SUD. For bachelors, there's the 
Tommy Hilfiger model with its ubiquitous patriotic theme. Got a sports enthusiast in the family? 
Try the special edition L.L. Bean model, which cleverly disguises the control console in the han- 
dlebars of a rugged 10-speed titanium frame mountain bike. For gourmet fanatics, the Emeril 
Lagasse model yells, "BAM!" when the dishwashing cycle is complete. 

Can't get your husband interested in helping with the dishes? A nuclear powered remote 
control, impossible to lose or destroy, will definitely get his attention. From anywhere, within a 
25-mile radius, men can operate the SUD with the touch of a button enabling them to lock and 
load dishes and program one of 18 cycles on the fly. This state of the art remote control also 
doubles as a garage door opener, a global positioning system, a vision enabled PCS phone, and 
simultaneously programs your VCR and DVD. 

I predict domestic engineers, formerly known as housewives, will proclaim SUDs the next 
best thing to the ever-popular Grab It® and Swiffer® floor cleaning systems. Hot one to rest on 
my laurels, you are no doubt wondering about my next appliance makeover. I've decided to call 
them SOBs but you can call them Sport Optional Blenders. 



The world is magical... 

Sunrises of bright orange like a flame being lit; 

Moonlit nights full of twinkly stars that resemble 

diamonds;Waves rolling onshore and then leaving 

like they were never there; 

Snow that gently falls like glitter from above; 

Birds sweetly singing songs in the trees; 

Sunsets of hues of rosy pink and fiery orange; 

Rain clapping on the window panes during a storm; 

Thunder that echoes through the sky; 

Trees delightfully dancing amongst the flowers; 

Fireflies shining in the night; 
Butterflies fluttering their wings over the garden; 

Just take a closer notice 

To the things that are around you; 

They are there to be adored and admired 

For countless generations into forever. 

They say that trees are wise 

Standing there since times of past 

But how with all these memories 

Can they stand to last? 

Memories of younger years 

When time apparently stood still 

And friends around would set the mood 

Thus, one had no need to move 

But forces stronger than any could feel 

Would drift their way soon 

Swaying branches with unbearable pain 

Until a chill ran to the root 

The agony flourished out 

And led to final good-byes 

Tears ran down their barren faces 

Until at last they closed their eyes 

Seasons soon again would change 

As fiendish forces blew by 

And she watched in numbing pain 

Helpless to help him, guarded in frozen chains 

Soon white would cover all that was 

Until shivering in a field alone 
Stood one lost tree weeping in pain 
Completely chilled through the bone 

And so they say that trees are wise 

Standing and seeing since ancient times 

But how with all these memories 

Can they stand to last? 

But how with all these memories 
Can they stand 

Stand to last? 



Without any effort on my part, 
I became 

Without any choice on my part, 
I became a male 

With some struggle 
I became a man. 

With some privilege 
I became a husband 

With great pleasure 
I became a father 

With some perseverance 
I earned a living. 

With some conflicts 
I became a Dad 

With some regrets 
I'm turning gray. 

With great remorse and helplessness 

One day 

I'll lay it all away. 

-Dr. Richard C. Ziemer 


mwuio tvitfi ^yjdl ^^2mxwe 


Although unsure initially, 

I denied my feelings because we were friends 

I questioned destiny, "Can we become more?" "Will we be more?" 

I smile to the thought of you 

You understand my chaos, my life, my being 

No one keeps my attention as like yourself 

Captured by your love, I do not want to be freed 

Mot infatuation, no temptation, no fauxation 

Completion began to become continuous 

I want to whisper in your ear those three words 

I know you feel the same way 

never go astray 

This feeling is overwhelming 

Love has possession of my emotions 

You are my conversation, my thoughts 

Confusion is erased, it is clear to me 

The way you make me feel reflects the truth 

The thought of you causes me to daydream 

The vision of your presence puts my mind at ease 

Constant smiles, endless trembles 

The closer I get to you the more I feel the reality of no mishap, no discomfort 

Join me in a celebration of new found love 

Time flies when I am with you, I do not want it to end 

I can't hold my tongue any longer 

It's been awhile but I still get anxious, get butterflies, get worried 

Jealousy can become an annoyance 

I've learned to overcome that battle and seize the moment 

I just want to bring it to the surface 

I see myself with you 

I hope the feeling is mutual, time will tell 

Amore' Mi Amore' Mi Amore' 

-Nicolle Blackmon- 

kKo+o by /VAonica IP&rri 



By the/ Light of the/ Moon/ 

A cloak/ of serenity fell/ across- the- long/ plateau/ as an/ a^wre- night slowly diffused/ the/ lingering- 
rerwnants- of sunlight over the/ distant horizon. A hesitant aurora/ begun/ to- flicker far above/ the/ waves 
of grass-, flighting- to- defeat the/ blading' sunbeams that had/ kept ity gloaming/ song- hidden/ for what 
seemed/ like/ an eternity. Just as this- premier star flashed/ its- full brilliance- to- the/ universe/, an abrupt 
e^losion/ofjeMjehs-pi^rcedythrou^hthe/hu^p'dXow in the/ sky, glittering- with the/ giddy knowledge/ that 
they beheld/ thousands- of secrets-; treasures- that not a/ soul/ would/ ever discover. 

The/ sew of carefully trimmed/ grow suddenly trembled/ without warning/ as the/ wind/ begun to 
blow. A swirl of leaves and/ uprooted/ cattails- flew across- the- yard/ in wild/ circles-, rolling- past shrubbery 
and/ spinning- Hastily around/ tree/ trunks-, finally the/ breeze/ slid/ to a/ Halt as- it reached/ an ornate/ 
archway that served/ at- the/ entrance/ to a/ large/ building- and- dissipated/ into the/ abruptly serene/ air. 

The/ placid/ tranquility concluded/ upon/ passing- through the/ archway. Sonorous- clanging/ a* glass- 
dattered/ against marble- tables-, loud- shouts- exploded- from/ the- windpipes- of rowdy bartenders-, and- raw- 
cous- shrieks- from/ the- instruments- of a/ string- quartet intertwined/ together to create- a- deafening- roar 
within/ the- restaurant. 

A drunken/ man/ staggered/ across- the- room/, swaying- and/ ^ig--^agglng- helplessly in/ a/ thunderbolt 
pattern. When/ he- finally reached- his- destination/, he- struggled/ momentarily to fully grasp the- doorknob 
inhis-hand/, th&npulled/the/woodcnplwnhbacha&ifity Eventually he- 

Stumbled/ outside- into the- starry night. Subsequently a- small- form/ slipped/ past the- drunkard- into th& 
restaurant, bypassing- the- ma-itre-'d/ to limp slowly toward/ the- bar. 

On the- far side- of the- room/, a-tall/ man/ clad/ in a- white- button- down shirt and/ black- slacks 
gluru^ed/ at himself in the- mirror hanging- frowv the- walk. He- narrowed/his- eyes before- adjusting- the- 
small/ bow tve- strapped- around- his- neck-, while- simultaneously pouring- varying- amounts- of liquor into a- 
glass-. He- turned/ on his- heel/ to slide- the- glass- across- the- marble- counter, unaware- of the- liquid/ sloshing- 
precariously close-to creating- a- mess-- "There- y a- go-. One-Rusty Nail/." 

The- man opposite- him/ grabbed/ the- drink/ eugerly, pressing- it to his- lips- with a- gasp and- swigging- 
it down in two gulps-- He- let out a- sigh of anguish, then slapped/ the- counter harshly with- a/ fist. 
"Thanks s-'much. I needed- that, " he- said- brokenly, shoving- the- glass- toward- the- bartender. 

"Yow want another?" 

He/ shook- his- head/, dropping-his-heud/ down-to stare- at his- lap. "'But o/JachVanlels- would/ be- 
mlghty fine-." 

A moment later a- new glass- clinked- agalnstthe/marble/iA^frontofhim/. "You- wanna/ talk/ about 

'Raising' his- eyes- to ga^e- upon the- bartender's- friendly face/, he- sighed/. "Woman/ troubles-. You/ 
know how it goes. . . " 

"Very understandable-. Hold- up a/ minute-; let wie- grab a- stool and- we-'lk talk/. " 

Just as- the- bartender rejoined/ the- distressed/ man-, a/ parched/ voice- spoke-. "Vo either of you- young- 
men- mind- if I take/ a- seat here-?" 'Both men- turned/ toward- the/ voice- and- were- surprised/ at the- spectacle/ 
before- them. A tall woman - - well, she/ would/ have- been- talk had- her stance- not been- bent at the- mid- 
point of her spine- - - stood/ before- them, precariously close/ to losing- her balance/. She- was clothed/ in a- 
long-, cotton/ dress- that covered/her entire- body to the- floor. Snow -white-hair was swooped/back/ into a/ 
soft bun at the- nape- of her neck-, revealing- tanned/ skin that was- weathered/ with- wrinkles. A n arm/ was- 
held/ high in the- air, with- one- finger pointed/ toward/ a/ stool. 

The- bartender e^cchanged/ a/ glance- with his acquaintance/, then/ shrugged/. "If yow don't mind/ 
listening- to this- mans- troubles, then/ feel free/. " 

The- woman- nodded/ and/ cautiously positicmed/ her self onto the- stooi, then- ga^ed- straight into the- 
face- of the/ man-behind/ the- counter. He- returned- a/blank- stare-, ccuusing-her eyes to roll/. "Inthls-posi- 
tion, I believe- that it would- be- most polite/ to request my order. " 

He- started/ at her flippant statement, then- chuckled/ nervously. "Excuse- me-. Its- just that you/ 
don't' - - Placing- her lower arwv flat onto the/ counter surface/, she- lifted- her shoulders- passively. "You- 
know, some- things- aren't always- the- way they seem/. "An enchanting/ song- trickled/ from/ her lips- when 
the- bartender remained/ stunned/. She/ leaned/ over the- counter. "I'll/have- a- Sloe- Qinfi^y." He- immedi- 
ately spun around/ to fulfill/ her request, all/ the- while- shaking- his- head/. 

She- turned/ to face- the- man beside- her. "Now, how about yow share- your troubles? Verhaps- your 


Insecurity with/ iAnparting- this iA\forvnation/ will prove/ inequitable/; there/ may be/ a- chance/ this old 
woman/ could/ enlighten/ you with/ cv yolution/. " 

"I donJt know. . . " He/ yighed softly, letting- his breath whittle/ acroyy his glayy, which caused circu- 
lar ripples to- tremble/ acroyy the/ liquid. 

The/ bartender placed/ a- drink/ In/ front of the/ woman/ and/ bat down/ on/ hly ytool. "Why don/'tyow 
My- -?" 

She/ yhook/her head/ and/ waved/ whandlightly through the- air. "Never mind/ that." 

"All right, why donJt yow give/ maJam a/ chance/?" He/ motioned/ around/ the/ half-empty rocnrv. 
"'Besides, the/ midnight crowd/ woht arrive/ for another hour or yo-. " 

With an/ intake/ of breath, the/ man/ tilted/ hly head/ downward/ to- ytare/ at the/ froyty glayy. He/ ran/ 
hly thumb- along/ the/ bide/, watching/ ay It left behind/ a/ clear trail. At the/ moment he/ way terribly loyt in/ 
a- ytorm of confusion/ and/ distreyy; however, maybe/ the/ elderly woman/ way correct. Perhapy by yome- 
extraordinary miracle/, yhe/ could/ pave/ a- path out of the/ foggy dlyayter. 

"Okay. . . You/ yee/, ify my wife/. Her father 
payyed away two-yeary ago- and/ yhe/ is ytill 
ytrlcken with grief - - to- the/ point where/ yhe/ 
thinhy of nothing- else/. We/ constantly argue/, 
usually about the/ moyt Inane/ affair y. Tonight 
she/ threw me/ out, and/ 1 fear that thiy time/ 
there/ wonJt be/ forgivenesy within/ her heart. " 
He/ yhoohhlyhead/ ylowly, thevv bent down/ to- let 
hly ga^e/ rest on/ the/ coal-black/ counter. 

"Thafy all?" 

H is head/ whipped/ toward/ the/ old/ 
woman/ at her yharp statement. "AW- -ALL?! 
What- -" 

She/ lifted/ a/ finger yoftly to- her Upy 
Immediately quieting/ the/ raaing- cyclone/ that 
way beginning- to- whirl within/ the/ mahy body. 
She/ learned/ bach with a/ tilt of her head/ to- 
obyerve/ the/ decrepit ykeleton/ that was left 
before/her. It way a/ carcayy of a/haman/, a- 
man/ who- had/ hurled/ all of his hope/ into- hell, 
and/ did/ not have/ even/ a/ yacred/ vow left to- live/ 

"Shh. I would/like/to- recount a/ ytory for 

Ay yhe/ croyyed/ her leas, the/ man/ ycowled/ 
irvdlsgust. "A ytory? How the/hell lythat yuppoyedto-help me/ gain/ bach the/ trayt of my wife/? " He-ruhbed 
hly hands against his temples. "What the/ heU awv I doing-? I'm arguing- with an old/ woman/ wh-" 

"I used/ to- live/ here/." 

Both men ytared/ at the/ woman/ in bewilderment. "Are/ you daft?" the- bartender ayked/ ylowly. 

"What the/ heU does that have/ to- do- with my life/?" 

"Thiy restaurant here/, " the/ woman/ waved/ her arms through the/ air, motioning/ orotund- the/ room/ 
at the/ red/ and white- wood/, "this barn/, thiy entire- farm/ - - it used/ to- be- my home-. " A laugh ylipped from 
her lipy at the- gaypy that escaped/ their throaty. "Now that I have- captured/ yotu- attention/, would/ yow 
care to- hear my ytory ? Perhapy yow may learn/ yomethlng/ from it, with my being/ yuch w wise- woman. " 

"How is it poyyible- that yow lived at Normandy farm/? It was to- my belief t\\at all the old ihhabi- 
tanty were- - pardon/ me/_ dead, " the- bartendei r yald with widened eyes. 

She- yhrwgged nonchalantly. "Now, are/ you Interested In/ hearing/ of the events that led to- it 
becoming/ the- largest farm/ in Pennsylvania/?" 

The- men turned to- face/ one/ another yubmiyyively. "Sure-, why not. " 

A myyteriouy ha%e- abruptly ywirled arownd the- old wcrman ay the- adjusted he*-- poyitlcrn ycr that 
hhe- could ga^e/ out a/ large/ window neoA- the- bar. The- diamond crescent inoon/ yoarlng wv the/ night yky 
way just barely visiHe- over the- yilhouette of the- tallest branches of w tree-. Suddenly her lipy lifted 
toward the- ytory in/ w brilliant flash of joy, and her cracked eyelids- ro^e-, revealing a- pair of ypaj'kling- 
green orby cryytaUi^ed with ranarkable/, vivacious youth. Then/, with- w da^lunaly clear voice-, yhe- 
began/ to- tell her ytory. . . 


-Dr. Karen Schramm- 

Soft Wbite Kaio 

tbe s^ies are wbite-on-wbite witb snow, 
And tbe evergreens sbow green no more, 

tbe temperature is ten below, 
And snow lies wbere 1 bad shoveled before. 

tbose downy soft flakes are falling still, 
to blanket tbe already long-wbitened ground. 

And snow bas bidden tbe windowsill, 
And tbe roof witb wbite is beavily crowned. 

tbe criss-crossing traces of b^ngry birds 

Are swiftly by falling snow concealed, 

But brigbt eager "tbanH yous" a* e soon to be beard 

Vben all tbe bird-feeders are fresbly refilled. 

Some tbere are wb© detest tbe snow— 
tbeir cars won't start, and tbey're cold, tbey complain- 
But wbat sets my face all aglow 
Is wben tbe weatberman predicts more soft wbite rain! 

PKo+o by Df. Linda Kuekl 

"Photo by A^alincla SwaHwowt 

Photo L>y "Reuse JsAcMantxs 


Janelle A. Van Zweden 

Muted Renderings.. 

For Jack Aranson 

You are older now, 

I never knew you young; 

But your face still retains 

The visage of the Shakespearean actor you once were. 

I hear your voice repeating the poetry of old, 

The lines which large audiences once heard, 

The words that can still set fire 

To the few to whom you now speak. 

I remember your glory that I never knew, 

That of which I have heard, 

But never witnessed. 

I see its mark in the distinguished lines of your face, 

In the purposeful movements of your hands, 

In the smoldering intensity of your eyes. 

As the years pass, 

And your hands shake, 

While your feet shuffle, 

And your voice betrays you, 

Your eyes have grown somewhat dimmer, 

Yet they are never too blurred to reflect 

The image of your strength, 

Such as a spoon 

Reflects but a vague rendering of a brilliant likeness. 

Though a mirror shows 

Only a shrunken figure, 

I can still see your soul 

In the depths of your kind eyes. 

Your merriment, 

Delivered in the perfect voice of Shakespeare, 

Can yet ring delight from the 
Hearts of those blessed enough to surround you. 

I have seen you in the gloom of Dickens' London — 

Your scarf on an ice skater, 

Your coat on a lamplighter, 

Your galoshes on a mail carrier, 

Your hat on a fisherman — 

As the muted stones and dark river 

Looked on without distinguishable commentary. 

I know that — 

Shrouded within that overcoat, 

That plaid scarf, 

Those galoshes, 

And that fisherman' s cap — 

Your passion still exists 

As strongly as ever it has. 

Yet, a wise soul gains depth as it ages 

Accumulating love and loss, and ultimately, life. 

So you have taken in words 

And harbored them in your inner core, 

Only to impart replicas out to others 

In ever changing patterns; 

Never losing, but gaining as you gave; 

Giving as once you were given. 

But one thing must not be lost, 

Buried beneath the shrines of Melville and Thomas, 

Eliot, and so many others, 

It is a treasure which must not be forgotten, 

As often I have done, 

( For my soul, too, cleaves to those of the poets of old) , 

And that is the salvation which all men must have, 
For, having, it is that alone which can never be lost. 

Ahoy, Mate, and Godspeed — 

Keep your eye on the flaming Beacon, 

As your feet tread the Pequod' s deck. 

"PKoto by ^joyce. Kunkle 


Background: While a 4-f-| C-\ub membei' and president of the Woodside 4--H C\ub, O truly enjoyed riding my 
bicycle visiting members to look at their 4--H projects and Kelp them update tkeit* project books. Don't ask me 
why O liked doing this task/ but D did and little did O know at the time that this act was an important clue for 

identifying my passion for teaching. £ven though O disliked going to school/ my father and mother were 
determined O would graduate from high school. D was ne.xie.v- permitted to miss a day of school except for the 
first day of deer hunting season. ;At my father's encouragement after graduating from high school in 1956/ D 
attended West Virginia University for one year. There D discovered that O wasn't as dumb as O perceived 
myself to be and decided to continue my college education. D wanted to attend a smaller college and trans- 
ferred to Delaware Valley College in 1957. .After graduating from DV(S, O Wad an opportunity to teach at 
DVC for one semester. Xhis opportunity enabled me to explore teaching and it became my profession and 
passion/ it enshrined my life's work. O devoted 43 years of my career in educational endeavors that went far 
beyond my wildest expectations. The following words are an attempt to express inner feelings about the 
teaching profession as O experienced it/ plus earning a doctorate in 1981. 

Teacke^s +ka! Teack 

"Teachers enshrine their lives with a passion for teaching/ 

with devotion beyond description that inculcates the art of grasping and reaching, 

■Helping people to grasp knowledge to reach within their inner selves/ 

Results in humans to reveal mandates of their innate delve. 

Teachers relish people regardless of their denominations/ 

And thrive amid groupings having diversified affiliations. 

A teacher's heart is saturated with benevolent feelings of ambition to help others/ 

While possessing virtues of patience, persistence and perseverance akin to mothers. 

"[Teachers are never too grizzled to listen to a child s dream, 

And all the reverie passions they may seem. 

.Masterful teachers protect with painstaking care the unfolding mind/ 

And nurture it with character and sincerity for it to be kind. 

"Teachers relish the latitude to be creative/ 

.And prefer not to be fenced with rules too definitive. 

Causing students to envision concepts/ ideas and critical thinking/ 

Postulates autonomy beyond policy tinkering. 

Teachers bequeath a legacy of their persona upon youngster s progress/ 

As surely as children learn to dress. 

Teachers' clothes, personal habits/ sayings, mannerisms, and friends, 

AH influence "watching" children during their evolving trends. 

Teachers enlighten the minds of young people as a future generation, 

By teaching life skills with betterment intention. 

Vouth lust for support/ encouragement, and inspiration that altmis+ic teachers give,, 

For it goads them to evolve into gainful citizens who cheerfully work and play as a way fo live. 

Dr. flames P. Diamond 


0a/* Jz#/za jfmmm 

On the walk from the parking lot 

to New Dorp Beach 

anticipation grew and grew 

With fishing supplies in hand 

this long journey to the fishing spot began 

Through a minute opening in some towering trees 

Up a little incline 
and still a ways to go 

The scent of the ocean grew stronger 

An abandoned, burned hotel was passed 

Prickly grass stuck to shoes and socks 

The never-ending horizon became visible 

The crashing of the waves became audible 

The vast beach became noticeable 

Down a little incline 
and almost there 

Through the sand that glistened like diamonds 
with spiny horseshoe crabs 
sometimes by the sandy shoreline 
The soft ocean breeze all around 
Fishing supplies— bait, fishing poles, coolers, spare hooks- 
set up between two piers 

After such a long excursk 
theJ&fthing would finally st 

arie Rissi 


=-^fifcs^ ^f J"! _!•*"* 

Pko+o by James R. L.\ 


Cold, so cold, cold as ice 

Frozen inside this chamber of snow 

The frigid air bites at my skin 

The crisp wind tears at my face 

Ages of tears are preserved forever 

Held fast to my face and body 

Forever burning is my suffering 

Forever stabbing is my pain 

Lying here cold and bared 

I freeze for all eternity 

Michelle Neumann- 


Kate Sollenberger 

Frosted Memories 

It was mid-afternoon on this overcast March afternoon when she pulled into the driveway. 
After stepping out of her cherry red Dodge Ram, she took a deep breath as she looked at the 
sight before her. The building, that was once so familiar to her, looked as if it too had suffered 
the same tumultuous events, just as she had. The once upscale two-story rancher had definitely 
seen better days. The paint, which was originally the color of a bright blue sky, showed signs of 
age. Chipping and peeling, the paint had been weathered, no longer vibrant, but pale and blue 
gray in color. Shingles stuck out from the roof like a youngster's wild teeth, gnarled and awk- 
ward. As she gazed at the frosty windows, she thought back to the last time she had been here. 

Eight years ago, she peered out of the rearview window of her family's station wagon as 
they pulled away for the last time. She insisted on gazing longingly with her nose pressed to the 
window until home was just a distant speck on the horizon. For so many years she wondered 
what had happened to this place that had once offered her comfort. 

Finally old enough to drive, the inquisitive youth decided to take matters into her own 
hands, and travel back to her childhood residence in order to put her mind at ease. Often won- 
dering what had happened to her beloved home and what it would feel like to return there, she 
set out to discover the truth about her past. 

Her long, silky, blonde hair was being tousled around in the icy wind as she made her way 
across the front lawn. Her sneakers made a crunching noise as she crossed the frosted grass, 
leaving ugly footprints in the frozen dew as she walked. The wind nipped at her ears and nose, 
causing them to burn slightly from the cold. As she stepped onto the porch, she drew her parka 
tighter around her lean body. Icy rings formed around the bottom of her jeans, causing them to 
move like a bell, using her thin legs as the pendulum. The echo of her footsteps on the wooden 
porch resounded as she ventured towards the front door. 

Hands shaking, the timid young woman cautiously turned the door knob. Half startled, 
she jumped back, when to her amazement, the door opened; she was surprised that the door 
had actually been left unlocked. After she regained her composure, she stepped cautiously into 
her former dwelling. 

The heavy door slammed shut behind her as she stood in the frigid foyer. She surveyed 
the damage that years of neglect had done to her childhood home. Cobwebs, leaves, and dust 
had turned her cozy house into a place of uncertainty and chaos. Draped with years of dust, the 
disheveled furniture made a once comforting place an eerie scene. Old family portraits still 
hung on the walls, serving as a reminder of what used to be. Walking down the empty hallway, 
her footsteps echoed throughout the house as she made her way towards her bedroom. 

Slowly she peered into her old room. Instantly she felt the familiar comfort that had been 
present when she was eight years old. Her bed was still unkempt from her hurried departure as 
she rushed to pack a few belongings and leave for good. The girl glanced around looking at 
posters, stuffed animals, and old trinkets sitting around her room. A pile of children's clothes 
lay crumpled on the floor. Figurines and Barbie dolls lay strewn across the blue carpet from a 
time long ago. After basking in her moment of reminiscence, she turned around to cross the 
hallway. As she spun around she stopped... frozen in her tracks. 


She could not move. She stood facing the bedroom of her dearest friend and older broth- 
er. Posters of Metallica and Led Zeppelin were plastered to the door, making it look like a piece 
of art, a collage. As a young girl, she used to stare at this disheveled mess of pictures for hours. 
It was the unwritten rule that little sisters were never ever allowed to venture into their older 
brothers' rooms. So on the rare occasion that she was allowed in, she never paid much atten- 
tion to the layout of his room. 

At this time, since she was alone in the house, her house, there was no one stopping her 
from opening that door and discovering what lay beyond that alluring collage. Curiosity got the 
best of her. Hesitant to open the door, her knuckles turned white as she grasped the knob. It 
did not take much effort for the door to swing wide open. She gasped. 

She could not believe her eyes. Like a miner who had just found gold, she stood there 
dumbstruck. Overcome with sadness and the harsh realization of who her brother really was, 
she just stood there looking into a whole new world, a world of pain and heartache. His room 
was tomb-like, scattered with memories. Nothing was out of place, not even his sheets. His 
beloved guitar stood regally in the corner, slightly dusty, but still in excellent condition. She 
remembered back to when she used to lie in her room as she listened to her best friend strum 
the beginnings of Stairway to Heaven on his sacred instrument through the doorway. Stacks of 
CDs lay piled neatly between his bed and his mahogany desk. The scent of his cologne lingered 
as she ambled around the room. She was captivated by the lost treasure this tomb withheld. 

A framed photograph of her brother and a girl caught her attention while she was making 
her way around his room. The subjects of the photograph were both smiling, showing no care 
to the world around them. She noticed that the girl was very pretty with blond hair, hazel eyes, 
and a smile that could light up a whole room. She tried to remember a time when her brother 
was happy, but those moments were few and far between. During her tour of the lair, a shiny 
reflection from the far corner of the room caught her attention. She ventured over to see what 
alluring objects caught her eye. 

To her horror she discovered razor blades, knives and rope hiding in one corner of the 
room. Burn marks and slashed walls lingered above this paraphernalia marking the satanic 
spot. Streaks of blood coated the walls from his futile attempt to mask his mental war. Things 
began to make sense. The harsh realization that her brother was not the same person he 
appeared to be on the outside struck her hard. Her head swooned with emotion. She never 
realized that her brother had so much pain and suffering to hide. A sickening feeling dropped 
into her stomach. In order to remedy her nauseous feeling, she had to sit down. Crumbling 
herself onto the bed, arms stretched out, nostrils taking in the tainted smells, she let herself 

It had been this exact day, March sixteenth, in the year 2000, in which her entire life 
would forever be altered. The day that her whole world came crashing down around her. The 
day that would haunt her dreams forever. 

The memories came flooding back and she allowed them to consume her. It was just 
another typical Thursday for the lively fourth grader as she stepped off of the bus after a long 
day of school. After running down her gravel driveway she burst into the house with excite- 
ment. "Ian, Ian!" she called, "Where are you?" trying to find her older brother so that she could 
show him her spelling test that she had just aced. Her mother and father wouldn't return from 
work for another few hours or so, not that they would care anyway. After searching the usual 
places, the living room and the kitchen, the young girl raced down the hallway. Knocking furi- 


ously on her brother's bedroom door, she got no response. She tried again and again but still 
no answer. 

She sat down Indian style outside of his room worrying about where her brother might 
possibly be. Some possibilities such as a friend's house, school, or even the park crossed her 
mind, but Ian would never have allowed her to come home to an empty house. Since he was 
her older brother, a full seven years older in fact, he often took care of his younger sibling. 

Picking herself up, she began to wander around the house checking her parents' room, 
the laundry room, and even their backyard. As she was walking back towards her bedroom, the 
basement door caught her eye. She thought to herself, "1 don't know why he'd be down there, 
but I'd better check it out." Throwing the door open, she made her way down the steps and 
called out his name, "Ian, Ian" but there was no response. 

She was just about to turn around and go upstairs when she saw him. He looked as if he 
was floating. It took her a moment to comprehend the situation at hand. Her brother was hang- 
ing from the ceiling. His face was ghastly white. She screamed. She ran to him, but being 
eight years old, her arms were only long enough to reach his knees. "Ian!" she cried as she 
tried to yank him down, but it was too late. He was gone. 

He was gone. She almost tripped over the chair that he had used to string himself up 
with. Running, stricken with fear, she made her way to the phone. Her trembling hands dialed 

Her memories after the phone call and the days to follow turned into a blur. Numbed by 
the shock of this horrifying discovery, the young girl went through the motions including the 
funeral and memorial services. She attended these events physically, but mentally she was 
somewhere else. 

Sitting up, a wave of relief swept over the teen as she returned to the present. Confused 
thoughts, events, and memories began to make sense. A rational reason for her brother's sui- 
cide came into focus. For Amber, things had all of a sudden become crystal clear. Suddenly 
she felt very calm and relieved, almost like the burden that she had been carrying for years had 
been lifted from her shoulders. Taking one last glance around, she stood up and exited the 
room, closing the sacred door behind her. She thought about her life then and her life now as 
she slowly made her way back towards the outside world. She thought about how things would 
have turned out differently and about how her life could have been. As she closed the front 
door to the familiar house, she felt as if she was closing the unanswered chapter of her life. 

Making her way back to her car, she noticed that her footprints from earlier were barely 
visible due to the new frost that had formed. She felt content as she observed this natural phe- 
nomenon. The frost had covered the blemishes she had made when she first arrived, causing 
the lawn to look mystical in the dusky red sun. She then realized that her life thus far had been 
like the footprints she had made, affecting the grass, making the lawn look ugly and scarred, but 
by giving it a little time, the picturesque portrait of beauty returned. This same healing had 
taken place in her heart as she confronted her past and the ghosts that had haunted her. 

Letting out a sigh of relief, she glanced in her rear view mirror, just briefly, as she drove 
away from her childhood home for the last time. 



cJ~)r. ~J\aren J^chi 

^/ oLike Wine and i^keeSe. 

! I lil friend has repeated that she uou re too oid 

Uo he the object of mu affection; aqaln -Jr am told 

^Jo looh at otlier men, who are closer In aae. 

Uhat S her advice, and she thinks it quite Saqe. 

£5ut ~y renin (-Atnd this Is lor itou ) 

ijou, dear LJiiri, are line delicious red wine: 

Lion present a bouquet; tliat S old-lashloned and line. 

Ljou qo to mu head and uou stau there all night. 

_/ cherish iiour bodit; uou are mu dellqht. 

I low, wine is bottled, and lor uearS is not drunk 

~Jll it advances in aae. -2)ame with the chunk 

Ul cheese that Js nibble: 

-3t Is aqed. Is It not. 

^Jdow can uou quit)! it 


Uhe man that ~Jr love is older than -Jr. 

Sxtnd he S mellow and Sweet, not old and dru. 

Jo sau what uou want, think what uou please: 

Js happen to Savor mu wine and cheese. 


Janelle A. Van Zweden 

ufe and ' L2/)eat/t in a Uccmo- 

-from the DVC Chapel- 

The pianist sits, 

Waiting silently, 

Fingers poised over the ivory colored keys, 

Body held in rigid readiness. 

She waits, 

Listening to the silence, 

Feeling it press about her 

As a hand that closes over a coin. 

Her pinkie descends first 

And wonderful, glorious notes 

Tumble over each other in their glee, 

Cascading like a drunken waterfall. 

The sounds banish the silence 

To the far corners, the cracks, the crevices 

The silence lurks, unseen, 

For the music to free it again. 

The pianist plays on, 

Fingers moving firmly, 

Muscles rippling in her forearm 

Brow furrowed in concentration. 


The song rises and falls, 

Hurting, healing, loving, lying. 

Peace surrounds the song 
But eludes the lonely player. 

Her eyes close for a second, 

She draws in a cleansing breath of life 

And brings the song 

To its final, solemn conclusion. 

Yet another life has been lived, 
Yet another death has ensued. 




The Unicorn and the Little Itty Bitty Mouse 

by Amanda Bohler 

There was once a little itty bitty mouse, who lived in a not so little itty bitty house inside a produce 
stand next to the tracks where the big noisy train ran. One day, the little mouse noticed something odd 
outside his house. Something strange. ..could it be? Impossible! It was, it was a unicorn! What an 
amazing sight to behold! Dare he talk to him? Could he be so bold? 
"Hullo!" said a voice outside. 
"Wha-who?" declared the mouse, searching for a place to hide. 
"Why, these tomatoes are simply lovely, I'll have one dozen to go, please," the voice replied. 
"Well, you see," began the mouse, peering over the counter. Why, it's only Mrs. Basile, here to 
buy some tomatoes for her stew, the mouse thought to himself. He breathed a sigh of relief and per- 
haps, disappointment. (A unicorn would be, by far, much more entertaining than Mrs. Basile.) "Right 
away, ma'am," answered the mouse, as kindly as he knew how. 
"Why thank you, little Evan," (for that was the little mouse's name) and she continued, ending 

with, "Good day!" 

"Same to you. Are you going to the play?" the mouse said, inquisitively. Mrs. Basile stopped 

instantly, glanced slowly over her shoulder, and replied, "Going? I'm the star!" 

"Why of course, now I recall," he recovered quickly, even for himself; he seemed to always have 

one or both of his feet in his mouth. He had prepared himself to make some other intelligent remark, 

hopefully to get Mrs. Basile to forget his forgetful ness, but by the time he came up with anything, she 

had gone. "Oh, well," he sighed, wondering if he could close down the produce stand early and go to 

the play. 

The day continued in much the same fashion; Mr. Fisher came in to buy (as usual) two potatoes 

and one apricot. He always seemed so astonished at Evan's ability to remember the order, despite the 

uniqueness of the purchase. (Mot to mention the fact that he bought it every Saturday.) Mrs. Henderson 

stopped by to pick up some carrots for her carrot cake - she was in charge of dessert after the play. The 

day would not have been complete without Mr. Donaldson stopping by to share his humor, as it was the 

highlight of the mouse's day. Many more customers passed by, and when he closed the stand that night, 

he felt a strange sadness somewhere in his heart. He had hoped that the unicorn was real. He wanted 

so badly to have someone to talk to. Perhaps he would get dressed up and go to the play. Suddenly, as 

if in response to his thoughts, he saw something out of the corner of his eye. It was! It was a unicorn! 

He was sure of it. He had never actually seen one, but he was sure that this was what they looked like. 

He would not let him get away this time! He would find his slippers and robe - it was cold outside - and 

he would walk over to the door and open and invite the unicorn in for some tea and crumpets. Yes, a 

splendid idea! He would go right now and... 
"But I don't really like crumpets, although that is irrelevant because you don't have any," the uni- 
corn declared, quite matter-of-factly from the window. 
"Wha-how do you know?" cried the mouse, mostly embarrassed by this terrible social blunder - 

out of crumpets! What kind of host was he? 
"Well, for one you were talking to yourself out loud. As for the absence of crumpets, I guessed. 
You don't seem like a crumpet kind of mouse. Perhaps Fig Newtons or Milano cookies would be better 
suited for you. But..." The unicorn continued in one long breath, while the mouse searched the cabi- 
nets, he was sure that aunt Lilly had given him some crumpets for Christmas last year. "But one can 
never tell these things from outside, especially when it is as cold as it is." The mouse was sure that the 
unicorn was hinting at something, but he had no time for trifles, perhaps there were some Milano cook- 
ies. "Oh, but I suppose 1 would have trouble fitting into such a small mouse house," the unicorn said 

thoughtfully, not wholly to himself. 


"I know!" the mouse declared, almost frightening himself, "That building where the train stops, we 

could have tea and cookies there!""Cookies? 1 love cookies!" answered the unicorn. 
So the mouse and the unicorn sat down and had tea and cookies - Milano cookies and Earl Grey 
tea to be precise - and swapped manly stories while planning to make waffles in the morning. The uni- 
corn promised to return the following evening and perhaps he would bring some crumpets. Over the 
course of the evening they had discovered that not only had neither one of them ever had crumpets, nei- 
ther of them had the slightest clue as to what they were. 
The unicorn and the mouse fabricated a wonderful and quite amusing friendship over the next few 
months; building it on the sturdy foundation of something they both enjoyed immensely - food. Well, 
not just food, they had other things in common, but food was very important to both of them - right up 
there with world peace. Anyway, the mouse and the unicorn became best friends and would not let any- 
thing come between them, not even a crumpet. 

As time passed by, so did the train, but that is irrelevant. No it's not! One day, a circus train 
passed by and the unicorn was offered a summer job working in the blue tent - the most sought after 
tent in the circus. Me hesitated, but after his friend told him that he would be a fool to turn it down and 

he would be fine without him, he took the job. The mouse really was OK with it; he just missed his 

friend more than he thought he would. The tea was not quite so sweet, the cookies not as scrumptious 

without the joyous air the unicorn brought with him everywhere. Even the eccentric Mr. Donaldson, the 

highlight of most days, could not cheer him up. He wasn't depressed, just so alone with his tea and 

cookies. Mrs. Basile tried to con- 
vince him that the unicorn had been 
a bad influence to begin with, "After 
all, it's his fault that you missed my 
play!" Me still missed him, though. 
Me kept thinking of all of the uni- 
corn's wonderful traits - his laughter, 
and love of food; his spontaneity and 

love of food, his sense of humor, 
especially when it came to food, and 

how he genuinely smiled when he 

was happy. He decided that it would 

be best to bury himself in his work - 

selling produce - and it worked, but 

he knew that he was not the same. 

He discovered that it is true that you 

don't know what you were missing 

until you've found it, and you don't 

know what you had until you've lost 

it. His funny friend has taught him 

that. He had even begun to resent 

him a little bit. What if he never 
came back? What of their vow to be 
friends forever? 
The mouse was not alone in his 
loneliness, though. Well, he was, but 
the unicorn was too, as only the best 
of friends are. The unicorn liked his 


\ci bv Elizabeth Rec 

\ Kc"v-|l< ui, 


job well enough, but there were no cookies, no tea, and nobody to share them with. He missed his little 

friend, and wondered when, oh when, would the 

summer end? 

Just as the mouse began to lose hope, he noticed a strange train go by. It stopped at the building 

where he had shared Milano cookies and Earl Grey tea so many times. He peered out the corner of his 

eye, not wanting to be noticed by passers-by. Was it? Could it be? "Back two weeks early, just to see 

me?" He whispered so softly he could hardly discern his own voice. 

...And then this unicorn walked by... 

The mouse said, "How do you do?" 

Followed by his, "Fine, and you?" 

The mouse's response was a renowned, "Fine, now that you've come around." 

"Glad to be of service," was his reply, as he showed off his horn to passers-by. 

"I was worried that you might be nervous." 

He turned so quickly and gave a look of marveled astonishment, "You thought I would not show?" 

"I think they are calling for snow," the mouse said, forgetting why he had thought the unicorn may 

have been reluctant to reappear. 
"Cold, then? Have you any tea and cookies?" he inquired. 
"Why, perhaps," and to the cabinet they both retired. 


-Brian Wfoitaker- 

Up0io Erterin^ Ab&ddon 

Darkness, darkness, surrounded bu, darkness, 

As I begin falling intc am abijss. 

To what depths I've gene I cannot fathom. 

Incessantly falling, there's ne bottom. 

I've stepped, where could I be? I knew naught where. 

The stench ef brimstone oppresses the air. 

iVlij ethereal bedu, begins quaking, 

I knew this place, this can't be happening! 

Trepidation takes held, I trij running. 

But I am inert. I start sniveling. 

Whij? What have I dene te become se tainted? 

Yew premised the kingdom, I lamented. 

Slevenlif I move towards this demonic thing. 

The beast sat there and looked at nne grinning. 

Seven times its evil tail went around, 

Ne, ne I screamed as I fell to the ground. 

However it was tee late te prostrate, 

And there was no wau, I could evade mif fate. 

Now I sit transfixed for all eternity. 

While winged abominations prick me. 

Gibbering and blaspheming in mu, strife. 

Cursing the great Beguiler of all life. 

Dwwinq by (EJizabe+h "Reqlcmcl 


Light prickled on my face, challenging the darkness to retreat into its cave as dawn 
crawled over the horizon. However, my eyelids remained tightly shut. Thus, I slipped back into 
a shallow slumber. 

Suddenly a shrill sound stabbed at my ears, sending fatigue flying away. I opened my 
eyes, blinking rapidly in the pale light. The rubber webbing, a barrier at the front of my square 
bedroom, was being undipped. As usual, curiosity 
overtook me, so I headed over to the door. There it 
was that reality sank in — morning had arrived. No 
more time for sleep or play; work needed to be 

The Girl With the Oat-Colored Hair gave me a 
pat on the neck, then entered my room. She 
approached my head, whispering quietly in my ear. I 
noticed the nylon contraption that she held, so when 
I felt the firm thrust of her thumb along my tongue, I 
opened my mouth for the metal ring to slide inside. 
Absent-mindedly, 1 chewed on the bit, taking note of the repeated cha-ching each time my teeth 
rubbed across it. I'd heard about toys called pacifiers that human babies use, and as I had 
never seen one before, I imagine them to be similar to this. Next, the Girl With the Oat-Colored 
Hair lightly tossed a green and white cloth over my back, followed by two soft pads, and finally 
by the heavy leather saddle. I knew what was coming, so 1 inconspicuously sucked in my 
breath, then blew out as far as I could to enlarge my stomach. When the Girl With the Oat- 
Colored Hair was finished wrapping the cursed band known as a girth around my body, I was 
delighted to discover that upon releasing the air from my lungs, I had plenty of room to breathe. 

Next I was led into the aisle, where a small human was lifted onto my back. The tight 
hold on my mouth was released as The Man With the Soft Hands and the Girl With the Oat- 
Colored Hair exchanged words in their own language, so I headed out of the barn on my own, 
focusing on reaching the sandy terrain which I knew was on the top of the hill. Suddenly I felt 
air forced out of my lungs. Ah, shoot, The Man With the Soft Hands had caught me drifting and 
tightened the girth. Darn it. Oh well, at least I would not have to deal with the feeling of the 
saddle slipping all over my body. 

Together we climbed the hill, finally reaching the racetrack. I gloried in the wonderful 
feeling of my feet sinking into the soft sand as I trotted along the outside fence. Wind whipped 
through my mane, sending joyous chills down my spine, and before I knew what I was doing, 1 
lifted myself into the air and threw my hind feet out in a playful buck. The Man With the Soft 
Hands leaned back in the saddle, pulling gently on my mouth and quietly chastising me. Oh, 
what does he know? He's not stuck in a ten by ten foot confinement for twenty-three hours a 
day! This short hour of time allotted for me to exercise was my favorite period of the day! After 
a short while, he carefully guided me in a semi-circle, then closer to the inside rail, until we were 


headed clockwise. I knew what this meant, and upon his urging, 1 quickened into a gallop. He 
rose off of me, taking precious weight off my back to make it easier for me to speed up. Ba-ba- 
ba-boom! Ba-ba-ba-boom! Each one of my hooves hit the ground separately, leaving slightly 
less than a split second where all four feet actually hung in the air, so not only did it feel like we 
were flying, we truly were flying. All too soon, The Nan With the Soft Hands slowed me to a 
walk, and we headed off the track. 

The next few minutes were a blur, with the saddle and bridle coming off and a halter and 
lead chain getting snapped onto my head. Events finally slowed down when I was led outside 
onto the pavement, where cool water was run over my hot body, followed by a gentle lather of 
soap. I craned my neck around to look at myself, and was not surprised to see my veins 
enlarged, for they were hard at work, heavily pumping blood to the farthest reaches of my body. 

The Girl With the Oat-Colored Hair led me around and around the barn, letting my raspy 
breathing slow to a gentle whisper. Occasionally a bucket of water was offered to me, and I 
gladly accepted it, enjoying the feeling of the cool liquid sliding down my dry esophagus. Finally 
I was taken back outside, where water was used to wash the remaining crust and dirt off my legs 
and feet, then 1 was allowed to return to my room. 

I was pleased to see a pile of hay and alfalfa lying in the corner, but was absolutely elated 
to discover that my feed tub was filled with grain. I buried my nose inside, savoring flavor of 
both sweet and bleeder feed. Occasionally I caught a slight taste of something that was obvi- 
ously not food, but 1 realized it was probably some sort of vitamin or medication. I remembered 
a time when 1 came back from the racetrack and felt my entire back and hind end cramp up. It 
hurt so badly that 1 did not want to move, so I resisted the Oirl With the Oat-Colored Hair when 
she tried to walk me. I was eventually put in my room without receiving a bath. Then a tall 
man came and stuck me with a needle. 1 let out a squeal of surprise, but the next thing I knew, 
the pain was gone. Ever since that day, my food had tasted a bit funny. 

After I had finished eating, another girl, 
the Girl With the Hay-Colored Hair, clipped my 
halter to the wall, and 1 was brushed from ears 
to tail. She even picked up my feet and pulled 
all of the dirt out from inside my shoes. Then 
a white clay was placed on my front legs from 
my knees to my ankles and before it could dry, 
pieces of cotton and plastic were wrapped 
around the clay to keep it cool and wet for the 
night. Fluffy white bandages were then placed 
around all four of my legs for protection. 

Finally 1 was released, the halter 
removed, the webbing closed, and the lights 
switched off. I retreated to the back of my stall, where for a few 
moments I nibbled on the hay and alfalfa. Eventually, renewed darkness and fatigue returned to 
my eyes, and before I knew it, the once-mighty light recoiled. My eyelids slipped shut and sleep 
overtook my mind. 

Photo by /\'il<l<i irkcM-nuu-v 


Running far 
From that uihich hunts 
Uever ceasing 
Riuiays chasing 

m . Son 

must escape 

Can't escape 

Don't giue up Looking, searching for 

no choice hut to 

Something that remains hidden 

Drop to the ground /rom exhaustion Still I keep searching 

no more can I run 
Stand up to /ace mu/oe 
Seeing loue in their eye 

must not giue in 
Can't let her do it 
Freedom I need 
Freedom I uion't get 


Busy bee 
Buzzing around 

Bring nectar wherever it is found T fCflSUfC 

Building the hive with the nectar she brings 

Busy little bee Dragon treasure is 

Something to be admired 
Gold, silver, and gems 

Poeros by David Gillette 


(f^txve. yvu et-'et (t\et iatt\ec-(\e, 

Z~tc-u. feel uc-u\'e td^itvui tuw^itx- 

£c-nvec<ie tin? ctuv juviilx yc-ul tetx-ietvce, 

feefeve uvut t/ic-uylUi tvtc evetx Ucrtxc? 

/\ Aietnlslviy ticu, feel utyu. could tvew&t le**.ve, 

/-^ f vtt tic- (tmttei lw<* Imtcl uvu'vc ttied ic- lie, 

Jt'i tl\.ett\ cic-u. au\ deceive- 

i^c-nvectve ^Ivc- tuxttti tlve ttcttlv, 

~Cly.c-u.iyU uc-u. ctu\. Ic-clc tlieux <Vv ilve eye- 

£>c-»vevt\e furtti tt/wttv evetv deep seciets «wv ivct l\ide- 

/-^t\d ev i e4\ at iacu. «wv« icit\etutvei fUyvt, 

^-\~ivU isftetv evet\ do, 

~Cc- Imvc tt f%ie4\d like tlvi$, 

Jd to t-uive tv j%ie4u.l lilce yc-u- 

PKoto by AVu-y Ciena A^oecm 


Waking up and feeling truly refreshed because of a dream I had. Not just any dream, but 
a dream about being in love. A dream of being truly, madly, deeply, head-over-heels, God help 
me, I'm in love, loving life, can't wait to spend another day with you, type of love. The kind of 
love that infects you like a toxin and drunkens you with a "shake your head and get with it" blur 
of hysteria and madness. The kind of love that you can't get rid of for hours, even days after 
the dream. It comes back to you hundreds of times a day, the day of, then even after a few 
days, still floats along in your bloodstream, striking at your heart every few minutes, making it 
beat a little faster, easing the day's burden with the thoughts of being with her, of kissing her, 
yes, of kissing her. 

Ah, yes, of kissing her. I'm closing my eyes and am dreaming again of kissing her. Her lips are 
so, so soft. So soft. She shakes in my arms as I am kissing her. Her lips open just slightly and 
I am kissing her madly. My passion for her is intense. 1 can't believe I am feeling like I am. I 
can't control it. I can't help myself. I can't leave her. I can't stop kissing her, holding her. 

Ah, 1 am holding her and she is holding me. Our arms are entwined like vines wrapping them- 
selves like tentacles holding on for dear life, yes, for life itself. I can feel her bare back just 
under her shirt and her skin reaches out for me and gives me hope. Her warmth and her 
breathing and her warmth are reaching out for me and giving me my own breath. I find it hard 
to breathe. She has for all purposes taken me, my own self, away and melded it with her own 
self. Our essences are of one. 

And that's after only kissing her for a few moments. I'm so afraid of what will happen to me if I 
do. And I wonder what she thinks as I caress her forehead and pull my fingers through her hair 
and smile at her and she smiles back. What is she thinking? 

Does she know? I think she does. 

And I feel naked. I feel exposed. 1 am open and defenseless against her. I don't have a wall 
built up to protect myself when I am with her and I wonder if she knows it. I think she does. 

I close my eyes and try to think of protecting myself. I've been here before. We all have. When 
the one who makes you complete is right in front of you and looking at your eyes and looking at 
your soul and looking through your, my soul. 

I am helpless. I am helpless. 1 can't help it. I can't protect myself. And the tears well up 
inside of me and 1 get that choked up ball in the back of my throat and I can't protect myself 
and I am weeping. 

And she's wiping the tears away with her thumb. A 

beautiful thumb it is, indeed. It is a beautiful thumb and I'm in love with the thumb that is wip- 
ing my tears away and I wonder if she knows. 

I think she does. 

I can't stop thinking about her. I'm trying to tell this story, but I can't stop thinking about her. 
Like that toxin again is attacking my heart. Did I tell you about her eyes? 

Oh my God, her eyes. I just walked away to talk to a coworker about this dream and try to get 
some kind of counseling because I'm actually shaking thinking about it. I'm having a hard time 
functioning today. I can't believe this is happening. 

It's now four hours since I awoke and I can still smell her. Hot the perfume she might be wear- 


ing and not the fresh shower I heard her in a few moments ago, but her. Her scent. Her aura. I 
can smell her hair. Her neck. A lovely neck. Oh, but to touch that neck. 

Oh joy to be in love and the love of the joy and with that it's gone. Fading like a vacation to the 
heavens above. Like the echo of parade of smiling faces on a warm, sunny day in May. 

My reflections of being with her linger still, yet the feeling of being in love is a blade thrice 
spliced. Once by a feeling of what is right, what is wrong, what to write and of what is left. 
Twice by being twice bitten before and stung so deeply, months, nay, years passed before full 
recovery. Thrice by the memory of love gone and of love passed. 1 wonder if she knows the 
pain and torture 1 feel when I am with her even though only in my mind. 

I think she does. 

I think I was a dreamer. 

Was it a dream? 1 don't know if it's a dream or not. I lie on this bed and silently wonder if, 
what the whole thing means, meant. 

I long for the day when things were easier to define, easier to figure out. When blue was blue 
and yellow was yellow. 

The vision of her has faded a little more now. I don't recall as vividly the feelings I had for her. 
I can't quite remember. Can't quite get my hands around why things were the way they were. 1 
do remember the feeling of being in her arms. I remember the way my heart was ruling over 
every thought my experienced brain was thinking. 

"When was the last time we felt like this?" 

"I remember it alright, I remember it. And after it all ended, it sucked big time. Guess you 
don't remember how you broke right down the middle? 

"Mo. No, I can't I can't remember that. But that's why we have you around. To remind us of 
events in the past, to bully us into behaving ourselves." 

"And you better behave yourself." 

"Behave? Behave? Behave. I remember the instructions a little differently than you do per- 
haps. I remember the instructions including a subsection on how I overrule all judgments that 1 
may disagree with. Remember that? Do you remember that?" 

"Yeah, I remember that." 

"And you conveniently forgot." 

"Yeah, 1 forgot. Con-veniently, I have forgotten who has the final say and conveniently, you have 
forgotten what trouble you got into the last time you had the final say." 

"I have the final say." 



Fine, 1 said. I'm going in. I'm going for it. I'm reaching out, unprotected, willing to go again for 
love. For true love. For the one who lights up a room. For the one who makes me gasp for air. 


( QrayiA the ce&r efmy day 

but a true bfue friend 'tike yeu 

canmake the uiertdzpin uihen 3 

weyeur white dtnite acmttyeur 

dun tit face 


ytimmer inywr dark bretun eye a 

tfkntw -<?ffl>e at&iyht 


<~me cetercf ye ftetu canmake afetmu 

fetyet abeut the 
a-(d bfack day 



.dii/iy red dart thrwuti 

deep in myAeart dtraiyht fivm theyreen envy 

cfrapurptb uicarina enemy 

Ckfyyw can tickle me pink uiithywr Aiffly mink and yeur fnflfr eranye dcarf 

*%et white the winys efan*^nyef 

uihichyw utear 

makedm^dt^ and thmk hew yeudc^ what yeud^ 


and thank yt-u 

"Photo by .Ashley Zieglei* 


Photo by BeiA T^oUme.? 



ISrenSa Ross 

9f Onl*... 

There's this guv 3 lihe so much but it fools as if \y> 

doesn't notico mo. GL paralyzing foar comos over mv 

bodv^ and froozos mv. 

mind when \\q ontors a room. 

£ach of self-ostoom prevents mo 

from interacting in anv. way. 

S^o contact is never made. 

Tension builds to a crippling level. 

9 Hide as if to seem invisible; scared \\q will fixing 

S'm not good enough for l|im. 

Sf sJ'm not soon or hoard there will be no judgment 

made. £Jn mv e-pes \\q appears to bo perfect lil^e an 

angel sent from God. 

Kis charm, kindness, and good loohs are lil^e the sunlight inarming 

mv. shin on a cold da^. 

Si would moan more than the whole world to me just to 

bo near him... to \\qcly his voice. 

The warmth of his bodv^ engulfing me; the sound of his 

voice gent 1 v. caressing mv. ears. 

(Wishing and pravjng that ma^be someday h G m igh* 

just looh mv. way. 

How grateful 3 would bo, 

Sf onlv^ h G would notice me. 


\ ^ waUL,'t k(Mh& Loiter tw low, \iMik w^ 

[Let oul ^ hook* u-itf ttfUA Q^AA, 

\J\XA> vJLcdUlvdtup' \1MA, OvJi, vUiAMA, to 

(kJl ^ \JjMHzX W^ hi, d \)MA, Wm, 

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£0 maa, W-e, Omi> MiWH vAoaa, OJfU)A, 
(Jo* uOvmvijx, M^oixo-^aSip, <4et to tittd* 

%vjl <L0 ^ Ofrrft' Ufltvi, We< dJu/Vrt/Trt^/KWV <dffAA- 

^ ho(Mww&)paAAjjo^ vut •wte^UA-fc \jo \a, ouaa, 

hn, wo*, jL&OAb wa, Mnjtejt 
^\o m> fuMAxo^ <lo vuew- 

O^Ji Cj 'YAM, "A^ oO^i^MAA, 

(JU, we, dfosrAjYAAAJj*^ (dtOAA, UKLe, wm. tuHvJkJLe, 

■Ln, tib, low, ^ wujyib \jo\fA,<LO tuui, 

^Oa, lalel (WMty 


Drawing by fcebeca Tayloi- 








ames R. Linden 

Christopher A. Mullen 

The Coder from Valles 

Sure! Yeah! Jason considered himself lucky; after all it was the luck of the draw, or 
something like that. He had just been born at the right time, and the right place for him to be 
selected. It wasn't even as if he had a choice in it. He was just chosen at birth, as one of the 
young ones who would wear the code. The code was set up to replace some of the Social 
Security numbers and records that went with them, those that were lost in the war. It was tat- 
tooed on the inside of his right forearm. The number read, 713-200121-58-1912838. Jason 
rubbed the number softly with the ring and index finger of his left hand. The ink of the tattoo 
was sort of an iridescent blue-gold, just below the skin. Below that, like a massive underline, 
was a series of lines of varying thicknesses, some thick, some thin, and some, somewhere in 
between. This indicated that he was a "coder" as some of the writers in magazines and newspa- 
pers had "dubbed" him. Some of his friends, and acquaintances, also sported the code. Jason 
thought about the number, he considered it lucky. It seemed magical the way it floated, just 
beneath his skin. 

Also it was magical and lucky in the fact that there were eighteen numbers in the code, 
three eights, three twos, three ones, a seven, a thirteen, there were also two zeros and a five 
and a nine thrown in, just for balance. 

His mom had told him, that in the old days a seven, and a thirteen, were thought of as 
lucky numbers, by people who 'gambled'. ..But Jason had to look up that word, and its meaning, 
on the Infoscan at his local Information Center. He still found it hard to figure out why a person 
would squander their resources in that fashion, since probability and the numbers that predict 
their occurrence were just so disappointing in a random set. 

But the thing that Jason most loved about the code that was tattooed to his right forearm 
was that it gave him literally. ..everything. ..that he could ever want in this life. ..that is, everything 
that the material world had to offer. He was one of a minority, a lucky minority, that were privi- 
leged in the world. All he had to do to get what he wanted was to let the product manufacturer 
or service provider scan his forearm, and that product, or service, was his. He could walk out of 
a store or mall with the things that he wanted or needed. It was a really cool and awesome 

The three eights in his number were signifiers of prosperity, these numbers represented 
the highest rating for benefits and acquisitions that was possible in his society... "The United 
World States" that was the society that he lived in in the 22nd century. 

His real country, or state, was "Valles Marinennes" on the planet Mars. His fellow country- 
men just called their country affectionately "Valles" for short. It was a state that had come into 
being originally from the original (U.S.A.) United States of America which no longer was in offi- 
cial existence, although north America for the most part was still there (the places that the other 
side had not bombed, that was). The War, that was when everything changed, according to 
Uncle Theseus. That was then the earth experienced a two-year nuclear winter. There followed 
massive extinctions of animals and plant life because of the nuclear winter. It was a time when 
ninety percent of the governments of the world ceased to be. A great deal of order, information, 
and records were forever lost. Senseless small wars broke out between countries, even states 
within countries. At one point the former USA dissolved into as many as twelve separate states. 
Canada into three. Mexico - five - all claiming sovereignty, to the north-American continent. 
This squabbling went on, something close to fifty years, and that was just the western hemi- 


The rest of the world suffered equally. There were food riots, famines, and plagues. The 
Black Plague re-emerged, Ebola, STDs, and even Smallpox arose and decimated 50% to 75% of 
the world's population. Ho one was really sure which side had started the war, or why. But it 
had been like falling dominoes, or a Pandora's Box, once it started. It left the world a whole lot 
sadder and more impoverished with a whole lot less information, people, energy, and resources. 

Fortunately someone in one of the governments had been wise enough to offer a cease- 
fire and diplomatic solutions, on the second day of bombing, and the "Two Day War" was over. 
But not before it had done a terrible amount of damage to the earth and its biosphere, and the 
world's countries and sovereignties. 

Jason was happy! He was glad! Because his Uncle Theseus, who was a planetary meteor- 
ologist, had told him, the way he had figured it,one more day of bombing in the "Two Day War," 
and the earth would not have recovered. All human and animal life would have ceased to exist. 
So in a sense Jason was lucky that his people, his ancestors, his race and even his species had 
survived the "Two Day War." 

Most of Jason's ancestors had been either doctors, scientists, or technicians; they mostly 
had letters after their last names. So Jason was attending Newton Junior University and that 
was the best education that his code could buy, in Valles. Jason wanted to grow up to become 
either a planetary geologist, a pilot, or some other type of technologist, or advanced degree doc- 
torate in science, so that he could get a spaceflight rating. Me wanted the training so he could 
train to be a pilot, navigator, Captain or project scientist on one of Valles' socspacmissions. 
These were special missions, which if Jason got on, he'd be able to do the kind of science that 
interested him. And Jason loved science. Like the project "Zgremars2050ad" which had been 
sponsored by the "United World States" with the cooperation and generosity of the states- 
'Reunited Germany,' 'Briton,' 'UE-france,' 'RisingEast,' and 'MATS' (which stood for North 
American Treaty States), the former U.S. This had been a socspacmission that had accom- 
plished the colonization of Mars and the founding of the country "Valles" on the planet Mars. 
This mission had been accomplished by joint donations and a joint mission statement of all the 
involved countries of the "United World States." The colonization of Mars was accomplished 
100 years before Jason's birth, by terra-formation of the planet's surface, and atmospheric 
enrichment of Mars. 

Jason looked around the spacious room that was his bedroom. Yeah! He had plenty of 
things that he valued, that would cost flatlanders and noncoders a fortune! Like his authentic 
circa 1930 Martin acoustic guitar: Even if you could find it on the Earth, Moon or Mars, it would 
cost 38,000 nats or 720 suns, whichever currency you preferred to deal in. 

He also owned a portable observatory for his planetary studies that had a value of 
20,000,000 nat/pesos. It had been shipped from Chihuahua, NATS. 

Any electronic black box was his for the asking, and Jason had a taste for gadgets. He 
had a miniature portable astrogator, every bit as accurate as the ones that NATS pilots and navi- 
gators used. He had a Creymicropalmputer that did everything that the desk models did, and 
then some. Plus he could have had the best of everything in clothes, books, mall purchases, 
food, fuel, vacations, you name it. The only things that the code would not purchase were 
things that "The United World States" had deemed unhealthy, or of a political nature that ran 
counter to the policies and views of the U.W.S. And if you really wanted that stuff, you could get 
it on the free market. It wasn't like money had ceased to exist. No, far from it. Jason wasn't 
tempted, because he believed in the U.W.S. 's motto "A clean body, a clean mind, a clean 
world." Anyway the idea worked for him. 

Yes there were "other" views that Jason had become aware of, such organizations as 'Mars 
First,' 'The New Code World Order': These organizations wanted to go back to an economic sys- 
tem that had no code. Economic advantages had nothing to do with the code, really, that was 
just luck. That was something Jason didn't really understand about people sometimes. You 


participated in the code because you were a good person. Because you were patriotic, and it 
was a good thing. The code was helping to rebuild the world. Keeping the world safe from 
nuclear annihilation. A whole new government had set up the code to make sure that there was 
equity amongst countries and people so there would be no inherent disadvantages between 
them, that would lead to the horror that became the "Two Day War." The code was to help peo- 
ple. The code was totally voluntary. Nobody was forced to be coded. Sure you were assigned a 
number at birth. But you didn't have to get tattooed until you were twelve. They were told the 
advantages and possible disadvantages (although Jason couldn't think of any) of being assigned 
a code. As young as five you became aware of the code. It was covered in every elementary 
class, just like sex education, or hygiene. And you didn't really opt in completely until you were 
eighteen, when you were assigned your duty code. Some people were just sore because they 
didn't get as high a rating as they might've liked. That was nobody's fault; that was just the ran- 
domness of the computer. Sure it was random. But it was fair. Anyway that's how Jason felt 
about it. To get the code took all of five minutes. It didn't hurt, it was done by laser. Jason 
thought, even if a citizen got a low rating with their code, there were other definite advantages 
to having the code, like membership in the "Young Citizens of the United World States" organiza- 
tion which gave out scholarships to young students regardless of their rating by the code. His 
good friend Rhea was an example. She had had a low code rating. But she was really smart. 
She had done well at Marie Curie Junior University. She was sure to get a good duty code 
tomorrow, Jason thought. Jason turned out the light, and rolled over in his bed to get comfort- 
able. Well tomorrow will tell, thought Jason. Tomorrow his good friend Rhea and he would 
both graduate at the ceremony, get their duty codes, and their assignments! He was looking for- 
ward to the big day! Although Jason couldn't understand the knot in his stomach. Tomorrow 
Jason was going to be eighteen years old. His Mom and Dad were there! It was exciting. The 
rush of adrenaline, as he went up to the podium to get his diploma, and his duty code. There 
were flashbulbs going off, as everyone took pictures and talked in excited whispers, and shouts 
of encouragement and good cheer. His Dad patted him heartily on the back. Jason was happy! 
And excited. The whole thing felt like a rush of blue and gold colors with all the ribbons and 
bunting of the decorated auditorium. He even saw Rhea near the beginning of the ceremony. 
He waved to her. She looked happy and excited! He really didn't hear or remember what the 
keynote speaker had said. He was a decorated mission pilot from N.A.T.S., he seemed smiling 
and encouraging. The keynote pilot was blonde and well tanned. The pilot waved to the crowd 
as he sat down, near the end. Jason excitedly opened the envelope, and started to read the 
numbers and words written there... 

"Dear Jason, we are proud to assign you a duty code of 10-10-10. As you know, this is the high- 
est duty code assignable, and means you will be assigned to scientific exploration and research 
in near Mars orbit, and on the planet. And further will be given Al status for flight training. You 
will be vested in all spacsocmissions of your choice. Congratulations!! Also in consideration of 
the above, you are required to attend the farewell and departure of your friend Rhea in her new 
assignment on Titan-Oberon III. Congratulations again!! Sincerely, Thor Thorogood, Director 
and Secretary of Duty Code Assignment." 

Jason was stunned. Were they really going to send Rhea. ..beautiful, intelligent, kind Rhea 
to Titan? What a Hellhole, to be a miner on that radioactive wasteland!!! Why?!! Why?!! She'll 
be lucky if she lasts a year on that cinder, he thought. He looked up and over to where Rhea 
was sitting in the auditorium, ho wonder Rhea was crying. He could see that she was slumped 
over in her chair crying. It looked like her folks were trying to console her. THAT REALLY WAS A 
WASTE. Somehow it didn't seem fair. Maybe these codes weren't really that fair after all. Jason 
thought about his assignment and thought about Rhea's for a very long moment. ..Jason 
thought I am really, really, really lucky 



Lyur cJLove Is cJDiui 


ZJear drops pour down my cheeks 

W^e^ run t\L a raai^ water fail 

Olds water sailed wit/, tL passion of my heart 

j- ours out of my eijes to douse you with my love 

(LacL journey we look sticks in my mind 

ZJiie slants of the Sun sinning against Hie slay 

ULe wind whisks the leaves as we escort each oilier down life s path 

^Afs we glance at one another, we affix our eyes; the moment is perfect 

C-very word you ve Spoken to me lingers in my mind 

Livery conversation is engraved in my memory 

ZJne script is written with the most beautiful words 

Uhe meaning of Ike engraving lies gilded in my heart 

lA/nen we Spend time together 

LVe embrace each other like links of a chain. . .inseparable 

-ArS you press your head against my cnesl 

Ljou hear Ike others poundincj at my hearts gale; bull-boom bull-boom 

djon I let anyone into the gales of my heart 

you are already llu-ougli l/ie gales 

Dlie cliain is locLed will our love for eacli oilier 

ljou Lear tlie poundina; ike gales are invinciUe 

Ujou are the gale keeper of my heart 

ljou guard llie gates and you loched the chain 

ljou Lave (el no one else tkrouaL lLose gales 

11, one else will dale your pLe 

Olie future lies alieJ of us (iLe a slujow in lie JU, 

-As long as were toyellier and you re Leaping my heart 

Vo one will disjoin /Le. Lain 

Our Le is divine 

AaSon 1 1 tic 


Jim @%wAett 

widveiiA cmmaA In 

SMt&nightshieS and a shining moon 

(^Mort/g a/ier a Sanng noon 

Qjazbna aimlesstu. at the Stars 

■Jg no ring the Soand of a// ' l/ie cars 

iSneta re perfect in a shg of/dae 

J/Xnowina what sfahje and tvhat ti In, 

'■>/«„</., , 

■ Seem Sma/t ' a/at ' Jirid 

(Sout when in t/a' shg theg give a e/ii// 

■ff/iag trove/fait with nowhere to go 

(SS/it when not in Sight t/ie Start wi/li/ww 

Meg on/,/ Jane when it ,S night 

■_ft is ieea/oie theg are our on/g /ioght 

the man on t/ie /noon , 

ltd a a /a. 

■ffhe moon jhi/teS with wendre/tsj/are 

' ')l/ion tiight is over- t/w Aim wiMshone 

Sfahing aweag the night S refine 

■3/he ■inn s/tineA with Ji re reo/ 

.Jrt m now time to riSefrom hed 

Another dan in a crowo/ed Street 

GMhitinti/or the daij S defeat 

tywtingjbr that mio/night Jag 

O/ratehi/ig the time togiaSJ i/i tg 

3/he time is short, get So slow 

(Shianning around with nowhere to go 

( //andrring around, going new /da ceo 

yldeetineg new heo/de. andSeeing new faces 

Me e/och hai/imd/g hit eight o Woch 

&>eo/de -i/i//, vane/erf rem /doch to /,/oeh 

Me dag ia over and 'night is here 

@t£d dag wi//d,orthg he gaile near 


PKoto by AAary (£-\ ]\Aorav\ 



Count on me. When times get rough, know that I am 

always there. 

Believe in me. Accept my hopes and dreams and aid 

me in achieving them. 

Trust in me. I am here to guide you, to see you 

through in difficult and fantastic times. 

Help me live. Let me experience what the world has 

to offer and have a great time in 

doing so. 

Be there for me. When I need a shoulder to cry on or 

a confidant, listen to my words. 

Teach me. Tell me of your experiences, where you 

have been and what you have done. I 

love to hear your stories. 

Never leave me. Stay by my side and hold me in your 

arms forever. I can't think of my 

life without you. 1 hope that we will always be together. 

-Josh Righter 


A girl spinning in the snow 

A nervous boy at the door 

A smile and a hug 

We should not ask for anything more. 

A girl dancing in the spring 

A grinning boy in allure 

A kiss and a touch 

We always dream of the something more. 

A girl languishing in heat 

A smug boy lowering lure 

A breath and a "love" 

We cannot ask for anything more. 

A girl crunching the dead leaves 

A downcast boy feeling poor 

A meaningless brush 

We should not have wanted any more. 

A woman frozen in snow 

A mindless man at the door 

A boy peeks outside 

We don't know anything any more. 



<>e/i<96d me modern 

yhi myf^tfuaff/ztmafJ/mau ve. 

Q)r0i0/z w/ia£j /effanaaumafj true, 

-/r&cftj a/zafreajm it imatti new ana new. 

f/rffliea0/i frmc/zewui eatena/eme/ii, 

JFiwu/wt 0€ te/ze/i faaAim m a /Lfi0crite. 

Sfffyf tiJide p?r J0 wna, 

_//ie mmi'tia, me orae, 

Me fkm; AeeA azv-au a/iaj00/i pzae, wMe ^ Jtejt 

J&wagd pu0w-o0t6r Aearf tfeazadeu0a u/iai/e /wmi/ia ekre £0 areamj/vr. 

J£?0€ if J0firec60oj, J0 ca/ifare it zpimwpur tieart i0Meu.0u jtittam. 

Q)0/z t fatten te wnaf<fa0tMa 0/1 wu0W neaaf, it 'it ' mtt 0tautterea 

£A0{£aa£f O0tsia a mite a minute - £00 C0mfitic0:tea. ^JnJteaa, 

wu0wa0ar ', 


Instant Water; or, The Parable of the Armadillo 

One day, a man acquired an armadillo as a pet. He became very fond oi* this pet and 

took it with him everywhere he went. As time passed, he began to believe that, 
because his armadillo Mas so wonderful, all armadillos were wonderful. From there, 
it Mas an easy step to the belief that, since the armadillo was universally wonderful, 
there ought to be armadillos everywhere. And from there it Mas an easy step to the 
belief that there Mere armadillos everywhere. 
When the man approached his friends M'ith his theory, he found to his sur- 
prise that they did not entirely believe him: even if. they told him. armadillos are uni- 
versally wonderful, there is no reason to suppose that armadillos are present every- 
where. Now though the man may have been slightly mad. he Mas certainly not stupid: 

he decided to perform an experiment to test his theory. It so happened that in his 
toMii at this time a jjreat new hotel Mas about to open, a hvelve-story glass and steel 

tower M'ith dozens of rooms. The man knew this Mas the place to test his idea: he 
Mould personally inspect each room in the hotel, to see m hether in fact there Mas an 

armadillo in each room. 
At last the «reat day arrived; he Mould enter the hotel and see if there Mas. as 
he believed there ought to be, an armadillo everywhere. As Mas his practice every- 
where he went, he took his pet armadillo M'ith him. and m ith the armadillo underneath 
his arm he rode the elevator to the top floor of the hotel. Dutifully, he entered every 

room and looked around for the expected armadillo. He looked on the bed. in the 
closet, behind the curtains. Everywhere. And in each room, he looked at the armadil- 
lo there in his arms and declared. "Behold!" There is an armadillo in this room! My 

theory is proved!" 
And so it Mas. 

Dr. Richard Hunt 



My Beit Friend 

The awhwardness we felt was of mystery and curio* My 

We never /poke a single word to each other before this night 

Standing out in the cold rain; the steam poured from our mouth/ ai we eshaled 

The thunder clashed and we /poke our first words to each other 

We first met a long time ago 

Seems I've known you my whole life 

Once far apart 

Nouadayi. inseparable 

The thunder clashing founded lihe the voice of God 
It was destined that we met that night 

cold, wet, and frightened 
words we spohe warmed us with hope 

I hoped that one day we can be close and together 

The hope, spiritual; felt in my soul 

The day* passed 

That became a reality; we're closer than ever 

Tour darh eyes; hair lihe gold 
With a razor sharp smile 

Tou cut into my heart 
My love spills out for you 

The time we spend together is priceless 
Days grow shorter, seasons change to cold 

Days grow longer, seasons grow warm 
When is the nest time I can be with you? 

I give you my coat when the cold bites 

We travel together 

We play music together 

You are my confidant 

When we tell each other secrets 

We promise not to tell anyone 

That pact has not been breached 


Our truit in each other grow/ ftronger 

You have a residence in my heart 

girded with fteel 

bounding our idealiftic love for each other 

createi an immortal dwelling in my foul 

The residence you have *ing* with mufic 

We walh in the courtyard* holding hand/, t miling 

fitting down by the riveriide, telling about our livei 

We i how how much we mean to each other 

You are there for me all of the time 

No reaion* are nece**ary 

Eager to help me a* I am you 

You alwayi help me fee thing* through 

You heep me alive when I feel dead 

You brighten even the cloudieft of dayi 

alwayi being there for me time and again 

You are what heepi me delighted when I am grief-ftrichen 

The land* of time heep falling fa/ ter and fa/ter 

The hairi on our head* will grow gray and frail 

Our friendfhip will grow older 

Our friendfhip will grow rtronger and more lively 

Our iouIi will depart from Earth 

We will move on to a brave new world 

together hand in hand, eye to eye, imile to fmile 

I'll tahe your hand and you'll tahe mine, and our teftimony continue! 

-lafon Nye 


-tSU&y <Watic 

c^ndLza cZu 


Have you ever looked into the face 

Of a being so utterly and completely 

Consumed by grief 

That their eyes 

Are jagged chasms and go to 


That you can't even begin to imagine? 

Endless eyes 

That see nothing 

And so reflect nothing 

Yet everything that is anything 

Is within them 

I have seen those eyes 

And they pierced me 

To my soul 

Or what was left of it 

After knowing what I thought could never be known 

My soul shook 

Those endless eyes 

Will cry no more 
e anguish within them 
Will never cease its wailin 

1 jfflS \ 

$1 beast with its torn heart 
And ravished mind 
Will always pace 
Behind those endless eyes 



+ * 1 



• • 


00 A HlGhT UteThlS 


AnP Th( U)ir?D BtOWS BY 



as The wrop bioujs on your facc 



AS A tiss IKS UPOD YOUR cucet 

GooseBumPS lAce your bopks 

ute rippus upon a cReet 

as you ue BcneATh The GiimmeRinc stars 


a cReet meeTS a staggcriog strcatt) 


whY poo't you open up odp Ten h€R how you feci 

sue loves you-you love heR 



on a niGhT ute This 


but for now mY pRCAff) cominues 

while noThinc seems to Be 

TAmmY_peAR T«mmY_ 

Pieose hoiP on for me 


"Drawing by Sara +Hel 


TTK^ <^\leane^ 

*Higk Sckool VYVi+ing 

"The English depar+irvei^t is very nappy 

to Wave, sponsored its seventh 

high sckool writing competition 

which was designed to showcase the 

work of young writers in tne area. 

We ave avnazea at tne talent, sensitivity, 

ana ear for language, in their 

poetry and prose. 

CDuv- thanks ana congratulations 

go to them, their families, and, 
of course-/ their (English teachers! 



^At {^ommentaru on the / V /< 



Walking up the hill to my house, having just seen Michael to his train, I step lightly 
and turn at awkward angles to avoid crushing newly fallen azalea petals, garish pink 
against the dun sidewalk. I also avoid tripping on gaps in the ground, because my eyes 
are not looking where I'm going. They are locked in awe on the sky, always tracing the 
lunar trajectory, even as it passes momentarily behind houses and dogwoods, and is 
strangled by the black wires stretching through the twilight. 

I sigh inwardly, and since, except for me and my shadow, the street's deserted, I 
don't pay attention to whether such sounds are audible. The sky is a sheet of grey 
satin, encompassing me tightly enough so that I am made aware of my exaggerated 
breathing, but still loose enough so that I know I have room to toss and turn. We, the 
sky and 1, are bathed in the melting luminosity cast by a moon streaked with magnolia- 
blossom pink clouds which shift and sway in the night's breeze. I feel sad about the 
moon, though, because I want to show it to him, my Michael, but I know that were I to 
do so, he wouldn't see the lovely pink clouds passing over it, but instead a mass of dull- 
ish brown obscuring his only light source. 

You can't smell the moon, at least not from this far away, but you can smell the 
steadily darkening sky. Especially on a night like tonight, after a misting of northern 
rain, when the mottled black pavement shimmers under the street lights that yawn and 
stretch when I squint my eyes. The breeze carries the scent of freshly cut grass spat- 
tered with early twilight dew, and I inhale deeply, and feel the twinge of memory that 
always comes, and then I don't know whether I smell the air itself, or if my mind is sub- 
stituting in what it thinks is supposed to go there. I part my lips a bit, and they're dry, 
and I start breathing through my mouth, which for me has the same effect as closing my 
eyes when listening to a symphony; one sense is cut off, so I can concentrate more on 
the others. I would breathe through my nose, but it's too frustrating not knowing what 
is real and what is memory, so I've mostly given up. 

Instead, I take extreme joy in color. Specifically color. I love other aspects of 
sight, but I have to love color above all; it is my obligation. I have to love it enough for 
two people and then I have to bottle up the joy that that experience affords me, and 
dose it out to him and then, even without having seen that which was its source, he can 
sense my joy, and take it unto himself, and we can revel in it together. Only this way 
can we both enjoy the world and our interactions with it as fully as we could, were we 
both capable of experiencing every sense to its fullest. 

Similarly, he loves scents, and constantly stops to smell flowers, the color of 


which he can't identify. He'll bend down gingerly, then stand up to his full height, puff- 
ing out his chest and pointing excitedly at the blossom for me to smell it, but rather than 
enjoying its smell, I enjoy the pleasure that he takes in it, and then I'll tell him of its 
lovely crimson color, and we'll continue wordlessly wherever we were going. 

I'm at a very different place than he in the matter, because I had my sense of 
smell for about ten years of my life, until it began deteriorating with the constant sinus 
problems, and eventually my tonsils and adenoids had to come out so that my senses of 
smell and taste wouldn't both leave me completely. Me, on the other hand, has always 
been deuteranope (a kind of red-green deficiency), which saddens me deeply, and simul- 
taneously makes my obligation to him much stronger, and much harder, too, because I 
can't tell him "that's rose red," or "that's sea green,": common cliches to which I would 
expect him to associate colors. 

I really don't know what to tell him, because he can't see that a bush of azaleas 
has two different colors on it, and were I to wear outrageous red lipstick, he might notice 
that my lips were shinier than usual, but nothing more; they'd always be the same sort of 
sickly grey. I'm sure he feels a similar way about telling me smells, because he can real- 
ly only say that a flower smells lovely, but not what it smells like; it smells like itself. It's 
not like either of us is helpless, though; I can smell to some degree: only intense things 
like gasoline, brand new bike tires, and eucalyptus concentrate-some of my favorite 
smells. He knows that on traffic lights, red is always on top. And he sees yellow and 
blue as I do, and consequently blue is his favorite color. 

So here I am on this same sidewalk with this same predicament; I can't decide 
how to feel about the moon. And this really is very troubling, because it's all I have to 
look at for the walk home, so it'll be weighing on my mind. After considering it, though, 
1 decide instead of being sad for his not being here, and for his inability to see what I 
see, that I will enjoy my solitary dusk. I'll enjoy it so much that it will stay with me until 
the next time 1 talk to him, and I'll tell him about how lovely it was, and even if he does- 
n't take joy from having seen it, he'll be happy just because I am so happy about it, and 
then 1 won't have to feel sad about the moon anymore. 

Germantown Academy 
Dr. Drewniany 



Two people stand on the mountain of white locked in each other's gaze. 
Petals fall around them like the tears of heaven. 
They are not melancholy tears, but of a joy so pure. 
That it has never been felt, only in dreams. 

A man stands in the midst of celebrating youth. 

Black hats inhabit the air and float down to the ground around his feet. 

In his hand, he clutches a scroll that holds within it, 

The man's sleepless nights, numerous sacrifices, and bright future. 

Beads of sweat run down a young girl's forehead. 

Adrenaline surges through her body as she rushes to kick with all her might. 

Her goal is so near, she can taste the salty tang of determination. 

A powerful kick, a heart-felt gasp, and the cheering masses drown out the singing 

of the angels. 

A young woman, shining with love and perfection, holds a bundle in her arms. 

A little boy lies sleeping, innocence radiating from him and breaking hearts of 


A young man stands next to his heroine, holding her hand, never to let go. 

Their eyes are fixed on this miracle that will bless their lives forever. 

Determination pulsing through his entire body, he begins to climb. 

The air is cold; the metal bars provide no safety and he prays for strength. 

The clouds seem to be pushing him on and he knows; they believe in him. 

The heavens open up and light shines down on him as he reaches the top, for he 

is worthy 

of his beloved superheroes. 

A grizzly man stares at the finished canvas, still shining with wet paint. 

Within it, he sees the pain, the confusion, and chaos of his life. 

He collapses, exhausted, into the nearest chair. 

For the first time in his life, he basks in the reverence of his creation. 

A father and mother hold each other in their arms, sobbing with grief. 

The miserable, empty hole in their lives is too much for an old couple to bear. 

Their son, captured in a momentary happiness, stares from a silver frame. 

Then, a man in uniform bursts in to the house and cries, "They've found him! 

He's alive! 

He's coming home!" 

Thousands of people, clad in shining jewels and expectant expressions crowd the 

She sits in the front row, her back to them and her mind restless with anticipa- 

The curtains open and silence takes its rightful moment. 

As if by magic, the music floats from the stage, an invisible mist, and engulfs her 
in its 
enchanting melody. 

One sits silently in the corner, watching the world with open eyes. 

She cries silently, for she does not understand. 

She has been looking for this all her life, but it remains hidden and silent. 

As others find their Olympus, where is hers? 


Council Rock High School - North 

Mrs. Hall 



Emotionally, I was already dead, and I felt the need to be physically dead as well. 
My arm was swelling as I cried myself to sleep. There were about ten horizontal incisions on my 
upper arm, safe from ocular inspection. The blood from my creation was sticking to my shirt- 
sleeves, and every time I tried to separate the two, they seemed to glue themselves back togeth- 
er, as if they were in love. I had kept a knife hidden between the dead ground of my room and 
the stained spring mattress, which seemed to encase my body like a coffin. The knife was keep- 
ing me alive. However, all I wanted was for it to kill me. But something was holding me back 
from trying a little harder. So I kept myself alive by limiting the amount of pressure I used. And 
each night, death paralyzed my body for a few fantasized moments to keep my blood running and 
my heart beating. 

Like everyone else's, my day started by waking up. Upon waking, I'd remember what I 
had done the night before. Then I'd feel the stinging again. It felt good, better than what I was 
used to feeling. In the shower, which I took every morning, the stinging would intensify, then turn 
to numbness. I would dry myself off with a towel, and depending upon whether or not I needed 
more pain, I would press the towel hard over the sensitive areas until they bled again. I dressed 
myself with caution, avoiding short-sleeved or white shirts. Once I wore a white shirt to school, 
and during class my cuts began to bleed through, almost revealing my secret obsession, almost 
revealing my secret habit. 

For the most part, school was satisfactory. I preferred being there as opposed to being at 
home. Home was too dark, too cold, and it made me feel lonely. I probably would have cut out 
of boredom. I had done it before. I believe few people at school knew what I was hiding up my 
sleeves. They couldn't have understood it anyway, so I kept my sleeves down. When no one 
was looking, sometimes I would sneak a glance at the cuts, perfectly lined up along my arms, 
because they gave me a sense of accomplishment, a sense of duty. I believed they were beauti- 
ful. After admiring these "friends" of mine, I would look around, out of habit, to see if anyone had 
caught a glimpse of what they were not supposed to see. Usually I was relieved of this paranoia. 
However, sometimes another student would ask me what had happened. That's when I'd lie and 
simply say, "I have a cat." A feeling of awkwardness had always swept over me when this would 
happen. But, it happened often. In fact, it happened so often that I nearly convinced myself I 
actually had a cat. It was better that way. I became used to lying, and my stories of an abusive 
feline became much more credible. 

If school was more pleasant than I had predicted upon waking, going home wasn't so bad 
either. I could maintain a good mood for at least a few hours after walking home from the bus 
stop. But if school had been the cause of a horrible day, I would come home feeling bad, and 
chances were that it was going to get worse. I knew where my knife was. I knew I was only 
going to take it out on myself, because I was too weak to take it out on anyone else. Besides, it 
was no one's fault but my own, or so I thought. Before anything else, I'd run upstairs to my tomb, 
in anticipation, and deliberately slice open my flesh. The blood was so bright. I used to sit with 
my back up against the door, in case anyone were to accidentally interrupt. I could have sat 
there forever, watching the blood make little rivers down my arm onto the tips of my fingers, then 
drip off like drops of water on a leaky faucet. But I knew I would not be able to sit there forever. I 
had lies to keep. 

Around seven o'clock was when my parents would come home from work. My mom would 
throw together a quick dinner and I'd have to eat with the family before my nightly death. When 
I'd finish eating, I'd say, "thank you," and I would run off to watch the television for an hour or two. 
Then it was time. I could feel my blood surging from within. It was ready to come out. Then I 
would go to sleep, and die, just to wake up again in Hell, wishing I were alive. 

Wissahickon High School 
Ms. Barbara Speece 


I am an electron. 

I circulate 

the nucleus of the world 

looking for my proton. 

If I were any electrnn, I would 

nnt he a valence electron. 

I would he one of the two 

electrons in the first shell. I would live 

with my other electron in peace. 

Do you think ends would meet? 

Do yoo think the end will come? 

Will the strong nuclear force 

overcome the electromagnetic 

force and will I bind 

myself tu the electrnn? 

I love you electrnn. 


Lenape Middle Schnnl 
Michael Dnytin 


Ode to Antinous 

I respected, I detested, no emotions left unfelt by me. 
I loved, I hated, conspirated, none emotions ever free. 
I paid the price with my ego, everlasting hero that 1 am. 
I the leader, fearless leader, of my group of trusty men. 

My name, my beautiful name, uttered only with pride. 

I the only truly worthy to make fair Penelope my bride. 

I the manly, I the muscular, I the God's apple to the eye. 

1 am the Antinous, let all hear my story, let all hear my cry. 

I came a running, when I heard it, Penelope must be wed. 
I knew the moment that I heard it, I be the one to share her bed. 
The others came, dumbly came, thinking they may have chance. 
I knew once she saw me, she'd not give the others even a glance. 

I entered Odysseus' castle, a man who had long been dead, 
1 took his home, let wine flow freely, every man was amply fed. 
The times were happy, very happy, and 1 quite content with life. 
Master Odysseus gave me much, now only to get his lovely wife. 

I caressed her, I blessed her, my love about her nicely laid. 

But to have it returned only, very boldly, by the many silly maids. 

I tried every trick to make her quick forget about her old flame. 

I threw her shroud to the hot fire, madly to bring her shame. 

Of everything I hated, none more than ghastly Telemachus, 

Waiting for a noble father the sea had long washed to dust. 

Convince him 1 tried, and cleverly devised a plan not to fail. 

Faking sympathy, 1 boarded him on a fatal journey to set sail. 

Some strange old beggar, weak old beggar was with him on return. 

Both so hopeless both so useless in hell's fire sure to burn. 

But they plotted and allotted how they were to bring my fate. 

Mow was 1 to know the weak and crazy were to kill me with their hate? 

1 impatient with the chaste woman threatened to say the least 

Choose a husband very quickly or 1 shall kill, as does a beast 

So she proposed and smiled as she rose to tell of the fateful test 

To string the bow, the giant bow, and claim her would the best. 

I watched the beggar, ugly beggar, easily string the great old bow. 

How I boiled, and recoiled with jealousy, though 1 dare not let it show. 

Trying to act as if the pile of rags did not matter, I took a drink from my cup. 

So she proposed and smiled as she rose to tell of the fateful test 

To string the bow, the giant bow, and claim her would the best. 

I watched the beggar, ugly beggar, easily string the great old bow . 

How I boiled, and recoiled with jealousy, though I dare not let it show. 

Trying to act as if the pile of rags did not matter, 1 took a drink from m\ cup. 

In the next instant, fatal instant, my life was slowly given up. 


North Penn High School 

Mrs. Simeon 


And... ACTION! 

I just love movies. Although some of them are brainless entertainment that can 
turn my hypothetical gray matter into hypothetical gray mush, I still love movies. Trust 
me, I really am doing everything I can to keep from melting my aforementioned gray 
matter, but it is not an easy thing for a movie lover. It was when I studied the short- 
comings and strengths of two things - books and art - - that I got interested in movies. 
While writing, I was disappointed to find that it lacked the rich color and detail that art 
has. While drawing, I was disappointed to find that it lacked the action and movement 
that a book has. So I thought about what had both: Movies! 

A film hasn't the same plot depth as a book. But a really excellent movie can 
convey the same emotional power. Take Casablanca, for example. That is one incredi- 
ble movie: Ingrid Bergman, Humphrey Bogart, Peter Laurie — you gotta love it. The set- 
ting: World War II; Casablanca has depth and personality and life. The inhabitants are 
funny and tearful and idealistic, with a startlingly sharp definition of personality and 
realism that brings them to life. The characters have pasts and futures, the present 
glowing with reality because of that. That's why I like movies. 

I'm also spellbound by perfect shots and angles, fascinated with mind-bending 
effects. Take The Matrix, for example — Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss, Laurence 
Fishburne — it's a beautiful thing. The romance part is out of place and some of the 
concepts stereotypical, but the shots are beautiful. The camera work in some of those 
stunt scenes is incredible, bordering on transforming an action movie into a work of 
art. (If you don't believe me, get a load of Fishburne's sunglasses when he offers Neo 
the blue and red pills. If you still don't believe me — sigh — then check out the falling 
rain when Neo is walking into the building where Morpheus is waiting to talk to him, o 
ye of little faith.) (PS: If you still don't believe me about the beauty of the camera shots 
in The Matrix, then read no further. You are incurable and beyond my help.) 

This movie's special effects are also revolutionary, the stunts breath-taking and 
the storyline imaginative, if inconsistent in small details. 1 didn't know most of the 
effects in that movie were possible. They are so groundbreaking and memorable that 
tons of movies have references to them. One of the most obvious references is the 
scene from Shrek where the princess kung-fu fights the band of Merry Men. 

Another thing that makes me want to create movies so badly is that characters 
are awesome. It drives my sister crazy that my favorite characters are always villainess- 
es. When I first saw The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, my favorite character was 
The White Witch. Then, of course, there is the jewel thief, LuAnne LeSeur, from Mr. 
Magoo — a personal favorite; Cruella DeVille of 101 Dalmations, 102 
nauseum; Trinity, a retired battery pack in The Matrix verges on becoming a villainess 
while technically remaining the heroine; Helga Sinclair, a resident of Atlantis, the Lost 
Empire... the list goes on. Movies are the ideal medium for creating characters, and so I 
keep on studying the different personalities in movies. 



I also like the versatility of movies. A filmmaker can create a heart-breaking, real- 
istic movie that drags in the audience and makes them live it. Or she can also create a 
hysterically impossible movie that's just as good. All right, all right - I know what's 
coming. You're going to say I sound like a wannabe - like I'm going to end up waiting 
tables for the rest of my life while waiting for the big break that never comes. But it's 
not like I'm one of those "I'm going to curl up and die if I don't make movies!" people. 
It's just that next to making movies, nothing else seems very interesting. So I'm just 
hoping that somehow, someday I'll make movies - incredible movies. 

So now you know it: my pet ambition, my little daydream. If someday you spot 
me in the cafeteria during lunch period, and you see me staring off into space, don't 
worry. I haven't gone crazy. I'm 
just daydreaming about the movies 
I'll make someday. Mo doubt right 
now you're saying, "But isn't this 
essay supposed to be about you?" 
Well, it is. Piow you know what I 
think about, and wonder about, and 
daydream over. You know what's 
going on in my mind (scary, isn't 
it?) (My sister, by the way, would 
interject here that she doesn't see 
me as a future filmmaker. She 
believes, instead, that I'm going to 
grow up, get involved with organ- 
ized crime, and dominate the 
world.) Back to the subject. 

What, you may ask, am I actually going to do to make the movies? Produce? 
Direct? Write screenplays? Suffer me to answer with another question. What does 
George Lucas do in his movies? For all the people out there who have never been 
obsessed with Star Wars, here's the answer. George Lucas has always done everything 
in his movies, even before he became a producer. Me writes the screen play, designs 
the costumes, orders around makeup crew, directs the scenes, and tailors every single 
special-effects moment. And as if that weren't enough, he also bullies a team of artists 
into making his world real. He doesn't just write movies or direct movies: he creates 
them, molds them, and forcibly brings to life his imaginative vision. That's what I want 
to do. My sister still holds out for world domination as my future career. But I disagree. 
Why would I want to rule the world if I can make movies instead? 


The American Academy 

Dr. Sharon Traver 


cJLctzu aHernoon3. 

L^offee-shop napping, under women s magazines. 

VL commotion of tL frourJ viUtinf lLourjL JULLr*- 

an earthquake under boiling wheels. 

-AtS then take flight, transcending scenic gardens, 

the carmine smi hurls fireballs at those who dare to explore hi sun-baked hours 

Uhe iioung and the old stow await in 

pilfered warehouses, 

congested shopping districts, 

and chilling theatres, 

out the adventurers wing through Saturated air, 

each landing hammers the concrete. 

<=<Juring these spiritless hours, 

air clung to bodies like the touch of- a child s stickg fingers on bare shin. 

_7 walked on damp pavement and dodged inline shaterS. 

(children, on/ti old enough to be ignorant of an Jfndian summer, gathered on barren streets whe 

nothing was in motion except things wild. 

LJheu dropped seeds singlij onto the ground 

and scurried await, 

eueina a Swarm of pigeons cluster from their Safe spot. 

-Atfter those dauS, 

the heat Sank into surrounding baijS at night and the phosphorescent shrimp glittered the wate, 

with sea-shell pink, 

^Jr stood outside nut door. 

Uhe gold glow from the high-rise buildings, 

and the aroma filtering from the Vietnamese restaurant. 

Outside mg door, J stool 
rJLuminouS views don I last much more. 


KerLciomen Valley •Higk ScKool 
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